Archived entries for Quotes

Poetry in the ocean

All that we do
Is touched with ocean, yet we remain
On the shore of what we know
-Richard Wilbur

Brendan Burke

“If we don’t fight hard for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we really don’t stand for them.” – Brendan Burke

I had no idea about the story of Brendan Burke until just this week! The gay hockey player, whose dad is general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, died in a car crash earlier this year, just two months after coming out in an article. Now this week his brother has penned an excellent piece that appears on my friend Cyd’s site, OutSports, about Brendan’s life and his family’s experience with his coming out. I actually teared up a bit reading it…and you will too!

Coop on Carter

I was re-reading old blog posts when I came across this one, in which Anderson Cooper talks about his brother’s suicide in an essay on The piece is rife with fascinating quotes and observations on life and death and is a must-read! The ending zinger is rather profound:

I used to think suicide was a conscious act. A plan made, then carried out. I know now it’s not always like that.

My brother was a sweet young man who wanted to be in control. In the end, he simply wasn’t.

None of us are. We all dangle from a very delicate thread.

The key is not to let go.


“She’ll only break your heart, it’s a fact. And even though I warn you, even though I guarantee that the girl will only hurt you terribly, you’ll still pursue her. Ain’t love grand?”

(Great Expectations)

Quotable: Saving the women of Afghanistan

The Globe and Mail this weekend had a big spread on the plight of women in Afghanistan, one of the issues constantly cited as justification for the war, and that is back in the news as the country considers legalizing marital rape. The Globe questions the effectiveness of the U.S.-backed democratization push, describing the country — not unrealistically — as “a pre-Industrial tribal society where the rule of law is not even a concept, let alone a functioning system.”

While there’s no doubt life under Taliban rule was tough, not everyone is convinced things have gotten better under the Karzai government.


Among the many insightful nuggets the story offers up, I thought this quote — right or wrong — was a great one:

“How has the war helped women in Afghanistan? It hasn’t,” Judy Rebick, former head of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, says. Instead, she argues, life is worse for women since the occupation. “Never have women achieved equality by somebody coming in and giving it to them. We can’t bomb our way into equality.”

We can’t bomb our way into equality. Something to think about.


“If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.”

-Kathleen Parker, Conservative syndicated columnist


I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to comment on Benoit Denizet-Lewis’s epic “Young Gay Rites.” Let’s just say it was longer than a flight to Johannesburg, but not quite as interesting. The blog remarks are quite amusing; everyone seems to think the cast of characters in the piece are silly, vacuous, and not that interesting. I tend to agree. But like everything Benoit produces, it is excellently written. I particularly enjoyed this gem, having seen far too many 60-year-olds clad in Abercrombie:

There was a reason, of course, why so many gay men my age and older seemed intent on living a protracted adolescence: We had been cheated of our actual adolescence. While most of our heterosexual peers had experienced, in their teens, socialization around courtship, dating and sexuality, many of us had grown up closeted and fearful, “our most precious and tender feelings rarely validated or reflected back to us by our families and communities,” as Alan Downs, the author of “The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World,” puts it.

No wonder, then, that in our 20s so many of us moved to big-city gay neighborhoods and aggressively went about trying to make up for lost time. And no wonder that some of us — myself included — occasionally went overboard.

Quotable: A reality check

Looks like five-term Buffalo congressman Tom Reynolds will retire at the end of the year. (Remember Tom? He’s the one who was accused of knowing about, but doing nothing about Mark Foley’s transgressions.)

The New York Times says Reynolds’ decision was driven by the “difficult electoral climate that his party is facing this fall.” The Times quotes Reynolds today as saying, simply, it was “time to face reality.”

Let’s all get ADD

The San Francisco Chronicle today has an article that every BlackBerry/cellphone/email addict should read: “No one is getting enough sleep. No one is getting enough sleep because everyone is so damned stressed. Everyone is so damned stressed because everyone has way, way too much to do and far too little time in which to do it.”

“Everyone has way too much to do and far too little time in which to do it because modern technology has made us a thousandfold more accessible and more wired up and more media drenched and able to communicate in 157 different instant digitized ways, has given us entree to so much astounding information at so much faster and more unbearable rates that it has, in effect, compressed time into sweaty slippery little knots we are forever trying to untie as quickly as we possibly can even though we can’t.”



-Delaware senator and Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden’s response when asked what he thinks about the military’s current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Full story.

(Full disclosure: Thanks to Servicemember Legal Defense Network’s e-newsletter for pointing this out.)


As seen on the Embarcadero:



I love reading newspaper society pages mostly to check out the often outlandish boldfaced names that grace the city’s charity circuit. The New York Sun reported last week on one event at the New York Public Library that turned out to actually be a fairly intellectual affair. “You don’t feel like you wasted the lunch with a lot of chit chat,” one board member said. “You always leave with an insight.”

But the most hilarious observation of the event came from Daisy Soros, who said candidly, “Most of my friends aren’t here, which I guess means I don’t have many intellectual friends.”

Overheard in New York

Last night, hopping on the subway at 23rd Street, I had my own Overheard in New York moment: Grumpy old man gets on the train, surveys the crowd and says, “Look at all these ugly faces! These are the ugliest fu$%ing faces God ever breathed life into.”

Overheard in New York

I haven’t overheard any hilarious conversations on the street or on the subway just yet, but an addictive archive of submissions exists over at Overheard in New York.

There’s even a book that has been created from the site’s hilarious entries.

Umm, you said what?

ignatieff_0123My award for Most Jaw-Dropping Quote of the Day (so far) goes to Michael Ignatieff, the Harvard celebrity-academic parachuted into a Toronto electoral district by the Liberal Party but who is now at risk of a stunning defeat:

“I’m a strong liberal internationalist,” Ignatieff said. “That means when people are being chopped into small pieces I want to stand up for them.”

Things aren’t looking so hot for Ignatieff; look for him to be back on the streets of Cambridge as soon as the first flight from Toronto lands in Boston tomorrow morning.

Even Ron Chyczij, the Liberal Party’s local leader in Ignatieff’s Toronto district, has pulled his support, endorsing the Conservative candidate instead! “After the nomination fiasco,” he said, “I’ve purposely waited on the sidelines to see if Michael Ignatieff can in some way redeem himself as a credible Liberal candidate in this riding. I regret to conclude this has not happened.”

A few good quotes

“If we do not do something about the BlackBerrys, we will have to develop a spray for them,” Liberal Senator John Bryden on the technology that disrupts Parliament’s electronics.

“Come hell or high water, there’s no frigging way I’m going to let one ovary bring the government down.” An ailing Independent MP Carolyn Parrish on her efforts to get to a confidence vote in Parliament.

“We are talking the full range of various states of undress, and the more startling thing is we get people right down to starkers.” Richard Mahoney, Liberal candidate in Ottawa Centre, on door-to-door campaigning.

“I think the (Peter) Newman book, trashy and wretched as it is, is simply further evidence of the argument I make …that (Brian) Mulroney was a throwback to an earlier political style and that he might have made a good mayor of Boston in the 1940s.” Historian Michael Bliss on the former prime minister’s role in Canadian political history.


At the 189-nation conference on global warming in Montreal this week, the U.S. representative said “The United States is opposed to any such discussions,” about new actions to combat global warming beyond 2012

‘Taking the good with the bad’

Over at the Boston Real Estate Blog, John Keith unearthed a gem of a quote about Monday’s shooting in the South End:

“The South End is still a diverse neighborhood,” Barbara Spears, an agent at South End Realty told the Boston Herald. ” You have to take the good with the bad.”

Wow! I’m really left wondering — what exactly does she mean?

Overheard in Washington

The nice guy may not get the girl, but he sure does get a better seat on the airplane. Last night at Washington’s National Airport, I overheard a passenger trying to weasel his way onto the Shuttle to Boston early, saying “But I’m Star Alliance Gold.” The gate agent shot right back:  “Honey, this is Shuttle. We don’t preboard because everyone in Washington is Star Alliance Gold.”


Michael Heath, head of the Christian Civic League of Maine: “I am taking this opportunity to warn all the people of Maine about the true nature of the ‘homosexual rights movement’… they will use coercion and intimidation to achieve their ends… the homosexual rights movement is a danger to society.”

Pastor Sandy Williams, another steadfast opponent of Maine’s new equal rights law: “If Maine won’t discriminate, Maine will degenerate…there is no end to the sexual disorientation and lunacy we will see.”

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