09 February 2009

Mencken & Bruce

H L Mencken (1880-1956):

People say we need religion, and what they really mean is that we need police.

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

Lenny Bruce (1925-1966):

If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.

If you’re from New York and you’re Catholic, you’re still Jewish. If you’re from Butte, Montana, and you’re Jewish, you’re still goyisch. The Air Force is Jewish, the Marine Corps dangerous goyisch. Rye bread is Jewish, instant potatoes, scary goyisch.

I won’t say ours was a tough school, but we had our own coroner. We used to write essays like: What I’m going to be if I grow up.

I'll also throw in one more American quip from my commonplace book, quoted by Richard Dawkins.

The comedian Cathy Ladman, soon to appear in "Does This Show Make Me Look Fat?"-- All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.


  1. Definitely some usable quotes for the future. Thanks.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Apologies for weirdly deleted comment. I accepted this twice, once via googlemail and once via blogger. Tried to get rid of duplication, thinking it would just disappear. But no -- my mistake is forever recorded.