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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."


--Steve


     - 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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