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Life is like a sewer... what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
Life is like a sewer... what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.
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Political satire became obsolete when they awarded Henry Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
Political satire became obsolete when they awarded Henry Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize.
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It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.
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Bad weather always looks worse through a window. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
Bad weather always looks worse through a window.
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I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that! - Tom Lehrer Quotes
I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!
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I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
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I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
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On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away.
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If a person feels he can't communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
If a person feels he can't communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it.
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When I was in college, there were certain words you couldn't say in front of a girl. Now you can say them, but you can't say 'girl.'
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Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.
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Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down ? That's not my department. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down ? That's not my department.
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If I can't get people to commit themselves on whether or not there is a square root of two, then I won't touch on God or anything here
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I feel that if a person has problems communicating the very least he can do is to shut up. - Tom Lehrer Quotes
I feel that if a person has problems communicating the very least he can do is to shut up.
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It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years.
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I went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.
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Alas, irreverence has been subsumed by mere grossness, at least in the so-called mass media. What we have now - to quote myself at my most pretentious - is a nimiety of scurrility with a concomitant exiguity of taste.
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"Life is like a sewer - what you get out of it depends on what you put into it." It's always seemed to me that this is precisely the sort of dynamic, positive thinking that we so desperately need today in these trying times of crisis and universal brouhaha.
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Always predict the worst, and you'll be hailed as a prophet.
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If, after hearing my songs, just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend, or perhaps to strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while.
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One of the problems I see with these comics on television, particularly cable television, is, since you can say anything in terms of sex and scatological references and so on, therefore, you should do it. So they all limit themselves to these subjects and this vocabulary. My objection is that it is a lack of articulateness. Irreverence is easy, but what is hard is wit. Wit is what these comedians lack.
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Disclaimer: If anyone disagrees with anything I say, I am quite prepared to not only retract it, but also to deny under oath I ever said it.
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I don't want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them.
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Irreverence is easy - whats hard is wit.
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Soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife. Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life. But as we go our sordid sep'rate ways, We shall ne'er forget thee, thou golden college days. Hearts full of youth, Hearts full of truth, Six parts gin to one part vermouth.
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Be careful not to do your good deeds when there's no one watching you.
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Plagiarize! Plagiarize, Let no one else's work evade your eyes, Remember why the good Lord made your eyes, So don't shade your eyes, But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize... Only be sure always to call it please "research".
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If you visit American city, You will find it very pretty. Just two things of which you must beware: Don't drink the water and don't breathe the air. Pollution, pollution, They got smog and sewage and mud. Turn on your tap and get hot and cold running crud. See the halibuts and the sturgeons Being wiped out by detergents. Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly, But they don't last long if they try. Pollution, pollution, You can use the latest toothpaste, And then rinse your mouth with industrial waste.
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Some of you may have met mathematicians and wondered how they got that way.
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Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
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Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics/ And the Catholics hate the Protestants/ And the Hindus hate the Muslims/ And everybody hates the Jews.
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Counting in octal is just likst counting in decimal--if you don't use your thumbs.
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The reason most folksongs are so atrocious is that they were written by the people.
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I've heard it quoted that I was dead. You can't believe anything you read. That was just an off-hand remark somebody picked up, and now it's been quoted and quoted, and therefore misquoted.
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If you asked me to write a rock song or a rap song, I couldn't do it because they're not in my fingers.
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As for language, almost everything goes now. That is not to say that verbal taboos have disappeared, but merely that they have shifted somewhat. In my youth, for example, there were certain words you couldn't say in front of a girl; now you can say them, but you can't say 'girl'.
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They love us everywhere we go. So when in doubt, send the Marines.
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Filth, I'm glad to say, is in the mind of the beholder. When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.
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The audiences like to think that satire is doing something. But, in fact, it is mostly to leave themselves satisfied. Satisfied rather than angry, which is what they should be.
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But in the new (math) approach, the important thing is to understand what you're doing, rather than to get the right answer.
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The Army has carried the American... ideal to its logical conclusion... Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on the grounds of ability.
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On Christmas day you can't get sore, your fellow man you must adore. There's time to cheat him all the more the other three hundred and sixty-four
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All books can be indecent books, though recent books are bolder. For filth, I'm glad to say, is in the mind of the beholder. When correctly viewed, everything is lewd. I could tell you things about Peter Pan and the Wizard of OZ, there's a dirty old man!
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Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
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I ache for the touch of your lips dear, but much more for the touch of your whips dear.
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My last public performance for money was in 1967. For free, it was 1972, with the exception of two little one-shot, one-song things. But that's just for friends, out of friendship for the people involved, and also because it was fun.
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You can raise welts like nobody else, as we dance to the Masochism Tango.
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I have always found it interesting... that there are people who regard copyright infringement as a form of flattery.
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People are stupider than anybody.
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I find that if you take the various popular song forms to their logical extremes, you can arrive at almost anything from the ridiculous to the obscene-or, as they say in New York, sophisticated.
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For there is surely nothing more beautiful in this world than the sight of a lone man facing single-handedly a half a ton of angry pot roast!
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Base eight is just like base ten really, if you're missing two fingers.
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I don't have the temperament of a performer, and I certainly couldn't do it every night.
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When someone makes a move Of which we don't approve, Who is it that always intervenes? U.N. and O.A.S., They have their place, I guess, But first send the Marines!
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Hark, the Herald Tribune sings, Advertising wondrous things!
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In one word he told me the secret of success in mathematics: plagiarize; only be sure always to call it . . . research.
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When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.
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The poor folks hate the rich folks, and the rich folks hate the poor folks. All of my folks hate all of your folks, it's American as apple pie.
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No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has "The Truth". To be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But then again, I can get pretty arrogant.
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Laughter is involuntary. If it's funny you laugh.
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Things are much more complicated. Feminism versus pornography, for example. There are a lot of feminists who think it is bad, but others think it's good. I have become, you might call it mature - I would call it senile - and I can see both sides. But you can't write a satirical song with 'but on the other hand' in it, or 'however'. It's got to be one-sided.
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Well, you ask a silly question, and you get a silly answer.
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Be it ever so decadent, there's no place like home.
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There's ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now, two game wardens, seven hunters, and a cow.
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Don't drink the water and don't breathe the air!
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I always like to make explicit the fact that before I went off not too long ago to fight in the trenches, I was a mathematician by profession. I don't like people to get the idea that I have to do this for a living. I mean, it isn't as though I had to do this, you know, I could be making, oh, three thousand dollars a year just teaching.
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To me, being funny is more important than making a point, but I don't know. Most politicians are so interested in making points that they don't ... I'd rather be funny myself, and I'd rather listen to somebody with a little sense of humor.
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If I see a movie star in the department store buying something, I'll kind of sidle up and see what they're saying, what they look like, how they sound. That's an invasion of privacy.
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We are the folk song army, every one of us cares. We all hate poverty, war, and injustice unlike the rest of you squares.
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I find that people can pass me on the street who've just seen my picture in the paper and they wouldn't recognize me. If they'd seen me on television, the heads turn. They say, "Wait a minute. I don't know who that is, but he's somebody.
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I'm very proud of myself on my, whatever the literacy is, I'm pretentious, totally pretentious. I like to say 'hmm', for example.
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I find enough mystery in mathematics to satisfy my spiritual needs. I think, for example, that pi is mysterious enough (don't get me started!) without having to worry about God. Or if pi isn't enough, how about fractals? or quantum mechanics?
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Speaking of love, one problem that recurs more and more frequently these days, in books and plays and movies, Is the inability of people to communicate with the people they love: husbands and wives who can't communicate, Children who can't communicate with their parents, and so on. And the characters in these books and plays and so on, And in real life, I might add, spend hours bemoaning the fact that they can't communicate. I feel that if a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up!
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Don't write naughty words on the wall if you can't spell!
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The audience usually has to be with you, I'm afraid. I always regarded myself as not even preaching to the converted, I was titillating the converted.
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And although I'm all for freedom of expression and against censorship, there are certain things I'm not willing to go to jail for.
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Angels we have heard on High Tell us to go out and Buy.
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Step up and shake the hand Of someone you can't stand, You can tolerate him if you try!
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From the three, you then use one to make eight ones. You add those ones to the three, and you get one-three base eight, or, in other words, In base ten you have eleven, and you take away seven. And seven from eleven is four. Now go back to the sixty-fours, you're left with two.
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The civil liberties types who are fighting this issue have to fight it, owing to the nature of the laws, as a matter of freedom of speech and stifling of free expression and so on. But we know what's really involved, dirty books are fun. That's all there is to it. But you can't get up in a court and say that.
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