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Sarcasm II: Serious Sarcasm

(183 entries, updated January, 2009)

This is a collection of rather biting wit from a variety of curmudgeons. These are rather more pointed (pessimistic?) than the quotes in Collection #6. Yes, there are a few milder comments sprinkled here and there, but many are like Rita Rudner's: "I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life."


     - A -
  1. Politics makes estranged bedfellows.
     -- Goodman Ace

  2. A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
     -- Edward Abbey

  3. There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.
     -- Henry Adams

  4. Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.
     -- Woody Allen

  5. I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead.
     -- Woody Allen

  6. Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.
      --Woody Allen

  7. You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
      --Woody Allen

  8. Jack Benny played Mendelsson last night. Mendelsson lost.
     -- Anonymous

  9. I don't mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don't understand.
     -- Sir Edward Appleton

  10.  - B -
  11. People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.
     -- Russel Baker

  12. A married woman is a slave you must know how to seat upon a throne.
      --Honore de Balzac

  13. Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
      --Honore de Balzac

  14. A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants.
     -- Alben W. Barkley

  15. Life is a long lesson in humility.
     -- James M. Barrie

  16. If you suveyed a hundred typical middle-aged Americans, I bet you'd find that only two of them could tell you their blood types, but every last one of them would know the theme song from the 'Beverly Hillbillies'.
     -- Dave Barry

  17. The word aerobics comes from two Greek words: aero, meaning "ability to," and bics, meaning "withstand tremendous boredom."
     -- Dave Barry

  18. The old system of having a baby was much better than the new system, the old system being characterized by the fact that the man didn't have to watch.
     -- Dave Barry

  19. I've noticed that one thing about parents is that no matter what stage your child is in, the parents who have older children always tell you the next stage is worse.
     -- Dave Barry

  20. It is not necesssary to understand things in order to argue about them.
     -- Caron de Beaumarchais

  21. It is quite untrue that British people don't appreciate music. They may not understand it but they absolutely love the noise it makes.
     -- Sir Thomas Beecham

  22. Everything is worth precisely as much as a belch, the difference being that a belch is more satisfying.
     -- Ingmar Bergman

  23. The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
     -- Ambrose Bierce

  24. Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.
     -- Ambrose Bierce

  25. man was kreated a little lower than the angels, and he has been gitting a little lower ever since. [sic]
      --Josh Billings

  26. The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way.
      --Josh Billings

  27. It ain't often that a man's reputation outlasts his money.
      --Josh Billings

  28. Remember the poor - it costs nothing.
      --Josh Billings

  29. Rugby is a beastly game played by gentlemen; soccer is a gentleman's game played by beasts; football is a beastly game played by beasts.
     -- Henry Blaha

  30. One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name and how old he or she is.
     -- Erma Bombeck

  31. I do not participate in any sport with ambulances at the bottom of a hill.
     -- Erma Bombeck

  32. Guidelines for Bureaucrats: 1. When in charge, ponder. 2. When in trouble, delegate. 3. When in doubt, mumble.
     -- James H. Borden

  33. Ministers fall like buttered slices of bread: usually on their good side.
      --Ludwig Borne

  34. The one function that TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if it were.
     -- David Brinkley

  35. The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer.
     -- Victor Borge

  36. The atmosphere of Venus consists of ammonia, sulfur, and nitric oxide. Man must have lived there once.
      --Andre Brie

  37. Crime is rampant. We even steal away from responsibility.
      --Andre Brie

  38. Why have computers? Politicians are far more calculating.
      --Andre Brie

  39. One day the truth will emerge, like a corpse in the water.
      -- Wieslaw Brudzinski

  40. You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is satire. All you're doing is recording it.
     -- Art Buchwald

  41. Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victems he intends to eat until he eats them.
     -- Samuel Butler

  42.  - C -
  43. I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of old ones.
     -- John Cage

  44. When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
      --Dom Helder Camara

  45. Automatic simply means that you can't repair it yourself.
     -- Frank Capra

  46. We're having something a little different this year for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey, we're having a swan. You get more stuffing.
     -- George Carlin

  47. An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living.
     -- Nicholas Chamfort

  48. You don't have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.
     -- John Ciardi

  49. I find it rather easy to protray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.
     -- John Cleese

  50. I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you don't like?
     -- Jean Cocteau

  51. Cookbooks bear the same relation to real books that microwave food bears to your grandmother's.
     -- Andrei Codrescu

  52. Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first call promising.
     -- Cyril Connolly

  53. I don't believe in astrology. The only stars I can blame for my failures are those that walk about the stage.
     -- Noel Coward

  54. The trouble with children is that they are not returnable.
     -- Quentin Crisp

  55.  - D -
  56. An appeal is when you ask one court to show it's contempt for another court.
     -- Finley Peter Dunne

  57. Most vegetarians look so much like the food they eat that they can be classified as cannibals.
     -- Finley Peter Dunne

  58.  - E -
  59. Never judge a book by its movie.
     -- J.W. Eagan

  60. History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
     -- Abba Eban

  61. Canada has never been a melting pot; more like a tossed salad.
     -- Arnold Edinborough

  62.  - F -
  63. For most men life is a search for the proper manilla envelope in which to get themselves filed.
     -- Clifton Fadiman

  64. Early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious.
     -- William Feather

  65. You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.
     -- Carrie Fisher

  66. Instant gratification takes too long.
     -- Carrie Fisher

  67. To be stupid, selfish, an have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.
     -- Gustave Flaubert

  68. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
     -- Redd Foxx

  69. Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
     -- Milton Friedman

  70.  - G -
  71. I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.
     -- Gandhi

  72. The meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights.
     -- J. Paul Getty

  73. Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.
     -- Brendan Gill

  74. People come to Washington believing it is the center of power. I know I did. It was only much later that I learned that Washington is a steering wheel that's not connected to an engine.
     -- Richard Goodwin

  75. No, Groucho is not my real name. I am breaking it in for a friend.
     -- Groucho Marx

  76.  - H -
  77. In Lubbock, we grew up with two main things: God loves you and he's gonna send you to hell, and that sex is bad and dirty and nasty and awful and you should save it for the one you love.
      --Butch Hancock

  78. I like a friend better for having faults that one can talk about.
     -- William Hazlitt

  79. There are more fools in the world than there are people.
     -- Heinrich Heine

  80. Death will be a great relief. No more interviews.
     -- Katherine Hepburn

  81. This paperback is very interesting, but I find it will never replace a hardcover book -- it makes a very poor doorstop.
     -- Alfred Hitchcock

  82. I understand the inventor of the bagpipes was inspired when he saw a man carrying an indignant, asthmatic pig under his arm. Unfortunately, the manmade sound never equalled the purity of the sound achieved by the pig.
     -- Alfred Hitchcock

  83. There are several differences between a footballl game and a revolution. For one thing, a football game usually lasts longer and the participants wear uniforms. Also there are more injuries at a football game.
     -- Alfred Hitchcock

  84. Seeing a murder on television can help work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.
     -- Alfred Hitchcock

  85. When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
     -- Eric Hoffer

  86. A pessimist is a man who has been compelled to live with an optimist.
     -- Elbert Hubbard

  87. A good listener is usually thinking about something else.
     -- Kin Hubbard

  88. Nothing is as irritating as the fellow who chats pleasantly while he's overcharging you.
     -- Kin Hubbard

  89. The fellow that agrees with everything you say is either a fool or he is getting ready to skin you.
     -- Kin Hubbard

  90. One of the simple but genuine pleasures in life is getting up in the morning and hurrying to a mousetrap you set the night before.
     -- Kin Hubbard

  91. Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune.
     -- Kin Hubbard

  92. Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
     -- Aldous Huxley

  93. Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
     -- Aldous Huxley

  94.  - I -
  95. Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter.
     -- W. R. Inge

  96.  - J -
  97. Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it's in Hamburger Technology.
     -- Clive James

  98. We English are good at forgiving our enemies; it releases us from the obligation of liking our friends.
     -- P.D. James

  99. Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.
     -- Thomas Jefferson

  100.  - K -
  101. The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward.
     -- John Maynard Keynes

  102. The nice thing about being a celebrity is that when you bore people, they think it's their fault.
     -- Henry Kissinger

  103. Ninty percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.
     -- Henry Kissinger

  104. Everyone who ever walked barefoot into his child's room late at night hates Legos.
     -- Tony Kornheiser

  105. An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible.
     -- Alfred A. Knopf

  106. Both the cockroach and the bird could get along very well without us, although the cockroach would miss us most.
     -- Joseph Wood Krutch

  107. The trouble with America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy.
     -- Louis Kronenberger

  108.  - L -
  109. Radio news is bearable. This is due to the fact that while the news is being broadcast, the disk jockey is not allowed to talk.
     -- Fran Lebowitz

  110. Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.
     -- Oscar Levant

  111. Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, especially if they are worthless.
     -- Sinclair Lewis

  112. People will buy anthing that is 'one to a customer.'
     -- Sinclair Lewis

  113.  - M -
  114. Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists.
     -- Norman Mailer

  115. Not even computers will replace committees, because committees buy computers.
     -- Edward Shepherd Mead

  116. It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has decended from man.
     -- H.L. Mencken

  117. Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
     -- H.L. Mencken

  118. Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in memory as the wish to forget it.
     -- Montaigne

  119. Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.
     -- Lewis Mumford

  120.  - N -
  121. The trouble with a kitten is that it eventually beomes a cat.
     -- Ogden Nash

  122. I don't understand the appeal of Spuds McKenzie. He's always surrounded by beautiful women. Now, I'm single, and I know the pickin's can be mighty slim, but you have to be really desperate to date out of your own species.
     -- Susan Norfleet

  123.  - O -
  124. Never raise your hand to your children; it leaves your midsection unprotected.
     -- Robert Orben

  125. Cab drivers are living proof that practice does not make perfect.
     -- Howard Ogden

  126.  - P -
  127. Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.
     -- Lester Pearson

  128. Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.
     -- Laurence J. Peter

  129. Equal opportunity means everyone will have a fair chance at being incompetent.
     -- Laurence J. Peter

  130. It's strange that men should take up crime when there are so many legal ways to be dishonest.
      --Laurence J. Peter

  131. A financier is a pawnbroker with imagination.
     -- Arthur Wing Pinero

  132.  - R -
  133. Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn't block traffic.
     -- Dan Rather

  134. It is after you have lost your teeth that you can afford to buy steaks.
     -- Pierre August Renoir

  135. There ought to be one day -- just one -- where there is open season on senators.
     -- Will Rogers

  136. When those waiters ask me if I want some fresh ground pepper, I ask if they have any aged pepper.
     -- Andy Rooney

  137. I don't like food that's too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I'd buy a painting.
     -- Andy Rooney

  138. No degree of dullness can safeguard a work against the determination of critics to find it facinating.
     -- Harold Rosenberg

  139. If I had a hammer, I'd use it on Peter, Paul, and Mary.
     -- Howard Rosenberg

  140. In Hollywood a marriage is a success if it outlasts milk.
     -- Rita Rudner

  141. Most turkeys taste better the day after; my mother's tasted better the day before.
     -- Rita Rudner

  142. My husband gave me a necklace. It's fake. I requested fake. Maybe I'm paranoid, but in this day and age, I don't want something around my neck that's worth more than my head.
     -- Rita Rudner

  143. My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.
     -- Rita Rudner

  144. I want to have children and I know my time is running out: I want to have them while my parents are still young enough to take care of them.
     -- Rita Rudner

  145. I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.
     -- Rita Rudner

  146. Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be.
     -- Rita Rudner

  147. Beethoven always sounds to me like the upsetting of a bag of nails, with here and there an also dropped hammer.
     -- John Ruskin

  148. I squirm when I see athletes praying before a game. Don't they realize that if God took sports seriously he never would have created George Steinbrenner.
     -- Mark Russel

  149.  - S -
  150. Acting is like roller skating. Once you know how to do it, it is neither stimulating nor exciting.
     -- George Sanders

  151. In order to fully realize how bad a popular play can be, it is necessary to see it twice.
     -- George Bernard Shaw

  152. There are only two classes in good society in England: the equestrian class and the neurotic class.
     -- George Bernard Shaw

  153. The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.
     -- George Bernard Shaw

  154. If the French were really intelligent, they'd speak English.
     -- Wilfred Sheed

  155. There are more bad musicians than there is bad music.
     -- Isaac Stern

  156. Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.
     -- Robert Louis Stevenson

  157. The best reason I can think of for not running for president of the United States is that you have to shave twice a day.
     -- Adlai Stevenson

  158. Some people approach every problem withan open mouth.
     -- Adlai Stevenson

  159. Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork and picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.
     -- Tom Stoppard

  160. Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
     -- Johnathan Swift

  161.  - T -
  162. Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrasment...They do everything but watch television.
     -- Lewis Thomas

  163. I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance -- a sharp, vindictive glance.
     -- James Thurber

  164. If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
     -- James Thurber

  165. Progress was all right. Only it went on too long.
     -- James Thurber

  166. I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain.
     -- Lily Tomlin

  167. The national sport of England is obstacle racing. People fill their rooms with useless and cumbersome furniture, and spend the rest of their lives trying to dodge it.
     -- Herbert Beerbohm Tree

  168. Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain.
     -- Pierre Trudeau

  169. Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
     -- Mark Twain

  170. Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children.
     -- Mark Twain

  171. Honesty is the best policy -- when there is money in it.
     -- Mark Twain

  172. I would like to live in Manchester, England. The transition between Manchester and death would be unnoticeable.
     -- Mark Twain

  173. Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.
     -- Mark Twain

  174.  - U -
  175. If you can find something everyone agrees on, it's wrong.
     -- Mo Udall

  176. A healthy adult male bore consumes each year one and a half times his own weight in other people's patience.
     -- John Updike

  177. If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done.
     -- Peter Ustinov

  178. Courage is often lack of insight, wheras cowardice in many cases is based on good information.
      --Peter Ustinov

  179.  - V -
  180. Muscles come and go; flab lasts.
     -- Bill Vaughan

  181. An ugly baby is a very nasty object, and the prettiest is frightful when undressed.
     -- Queen Victoria

  182. Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.
     -- Gore Vidal

  183. There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organisation. if there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organised along the lines of the Mafia.
      --Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

  184.  - W -
  185. Having the critics praise you is like having the hangman say you've got a pretty neck.
     -- Eli Wallach

  186. Nine-tenths of people were created so that you would want to be the other tenth.
      --Horace Walpole

  187. Actions lie louder tha words.
     -- Carolyn Wells

  188. Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it merely had been detected.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  189. The basis of action is lack of imagination. It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  190. It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  191. When good Americans die they go to Paris. When bad Americans die they go to America.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  192. I love acting. It is so much more real than life.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  193. It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  194. No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  195. Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  196. Women are never disarmed by compliments. Men always are. That is the difference between the sexes.
     -- Oscar Wilde

  197. Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early.
     -- George Will

  198. I did a picture in England one winter and it was so cold I almost got married.
     -- Shelley Winters

  199. All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening.
     -- Alexander Wolcott

  200. There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
     -- Steven Wright

  201.  - Y -
  202. When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of algebra.
      --Gene Yasenak

  203. An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for months or years. A competent attourney can delay one even longer.
     -- Evelle J. Younger

  204.  - Z -
  205. The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.
     -- Frank Zappa

  206. It is a fitting irony that under Richard Nixon, 'launder' became a dirty word.
     -- William Zinsser

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