harlan ellison Quotes

Harlan Ellison Quotes

Birth Date: 1934-05-27 (Sunday, May 27th, 1934)

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Quotes

    • You can live in your dreams, but only if you are worthy of them.
    • I have no mouth. And I must scream.
    • Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled.
    • Christmas is an awfulness that compares favorably with the great London plague and fire of 1665-66. No one escapes the feelings of mortal dejection, inadequacy, frustration, loneliness, guilt and pity. No one escapes feeling used by society, by religion, by friends and relatives, by the utterly artifical responsiblities of extending false greetings, sending banal cards, reciprocating unsolicited gifts, going to dull parties, putting up with acquaintances and family one avoids all the rest of the year...in short, of being brutalized by a 'holiday' that has lost virtually all of its original meanings and has become a merchandising ploy for color tv set manufacturers and ravagers of the woodlands.
    • My philosophy of life is that the meek shall inherit nothing but debasement, frustration and ignoble deaths; that there is security in personal strength; that you can fight City Hall and win; that any action is better than no action, even if it's the wrong action; that you never reach glory or self-fulfillment unless you're willing to risk everything, dare anything, put yourself dead on the line every time; and that once one becomes strong or rich or potent or powerful it is the responsibility of the strong to help the weak become strong.
    • This is a test. Take notes. This will count as 3/4 of your final grade. Hints: remember, in chess, kings cancel each other out and cannot occupy adjacent squares, are therefore all-powerful and totally powerless, cannot affect each other, produce stalemate. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; the sect of Atman worships the divine spark of life within Man; in effect saying, 'Thou art God.' Provisos of equal time are not served by one viewpoint having media access to two hundred million people in prime time while opposing viewpoints are provided with a soapbox on the corner. Not everyone tells the truth. Operational note: these sections may be taken out of numerical sequence: rearrange to suit yourself for optimum clarity. Turn over your test papers and begin.
    • Don't start an argument with somebody who has a microphone when you don't. They'll make you look like chopped liver.
    • I think love and sex are separate and only vaguely similar. Like the word bear and the word bare. You can get in trouble mistaking one for the other.
    • Heaven began to run at the edges.
    • They did it wrong, Doc. They made mistakes. And they'll keep it this way, just because everyone wants to believe it. They don't want to know the truth, Doc. It's easier for everyone this way. If enough people believe the fantasy, well, then it becomes the reality. But we know, Doc. We know who belongs where, don't we?
    • 'Hey, gang!' I squeaked in my terrifically accurate Mickey voice. 'Everybody ready to shoot the ultimate Disney flick? The film that rips the lid off the goody two-shoes hypocrisy that lies sweltering beneath the surface of G-rated true-life adventures? Okay, you guys, let's get that hand-held Arriflex right down there between Minnie's legs! I wanna see closeups of quivering labia!'
    • What he wrote was this: The great tragedy of my life is that in my search for the Holy Grail everyone calls True Love, I see myself as Zorro, a romantic and mysterious highwayman - and the women I desire see me as Porky Pig.
    • I am anti-entropy. My work is foursquare for chaos. I spend my life personally, and my work professionally, keeping the soup boiling. Gadfly is what they call you when you are no longer dangerous; I much prefer troublemaker, malcontent, desperado. I see myself as a combination of Zorro and Jiminy Cricket. My stories go out from here and raise hell. From time to time some denigrator or critic with umbrage will say of my work, 'He only wrote that to shock.' I smile and nod. Precisely.
    • Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.
    • Did you have one of those days today, like a nail in the foot? Did the pterodactyl corpse dropped by the ghost of your mother from the spectral Hindenburg forever circling the Earth come smashing through the lid of your glass coffin? Did the New York strip steak you attacked at dinner suddenly show a mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth, and did it snap off the end of your fork, the last solid-gold fork from the set Anastasia pressed into your hands as they took her away to be shot? Is the slab under your apartment building moaning that it cannot stand the weight on its back a moment longer, and is the building stretching and creaking? Did a good friend betray you today, or did that good friend merely keep silent and fail to come to your aid? Are you holding the razor at your throat this very instant? Take heart, comfort is at hand. This is the hour that stretches. Djan karet. We are the cavalry. We're here. Put away the pills. We'll get you through this bloody night. Next time, it'll be your turn to help us.
    • I don't own a computer, or a modem, or anything like that; I still work on a manual typewriter, by choice, and to those who consider me a Luddite I say: Fuck you and yo mama. I operate at the level of technology that best suits my needs. And I type at 120 words per minute - two fingers - I make no mistakes, and my manuscripts are real. You can pick them up and hold them. My typewriter doesn't dump its memory - I don't lose a book.
    • That's [a] good question. More than likely it will never be answered to your complete satisfaction. But then, how many questions ever are?
    • Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that's horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it's nothing. It's just bibble-babble. It's like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks.
    • Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel; Star Trek can turn your brains to puree of bat guano; and the greatest science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who! And I'll take you all on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!
    • For a brief time, I was here; and, for a brief time, I mattered.
    • He was just Ron and I kinda liked him, mostly because he wrote well, and I never felt he took all that Scientology nonsense seriously but knew how to make a good buck, and he liked me, and... well, he was a friend who died.
    • Scientology is bullshit! Man, I was there the night L. Ron Hubbard invented it, for Christ's sakes! (...) We were sitting around one night... who else was there? Alfred Bester, and Cyril Kornbluth, and Lester del Rey, and Ron Hubbard, who was making a penny a word, and had been for years. And he said 'This bullshit's got to stop!' He says, 'I gotta get money.' He says, 'I want to get rich'. And somebody said, 'why don't you invent a new religion? They're always big.' We were clowning! You know, 'Become Elmer Gantry! You'll make a fortune!' He says, 'I'm going to do it.'
    • Did you ever notice, the only one in A Christmas Carol with any character is Scrooge? Marley is a whiner who fucked over the world and then hadn't the spine to pay his dues quietly; Belle, Scrooge's ex-girlfriend, deserted him when he needed her most; Bob Cratchit is a gutless toady without enough get-up-and-go to assert himself; and the less said about that little treacle-mouth, Tiny Tim, the better.
    • I don't know how you perceive my mission as a writer, but for me it is not a responsibility to reaffirm your concretized myths and provincial prejudices. It is not my job to lull you with a false sense of the rightness of the universe. This wonderful and terrible occupation of recreating the world in a different way, each time fresh and strange, is an act of revolutionary guerrilla warfare. I stir the soup. I inconvenience you. I make your nose run and your eyeballs water.
    • I talk about the things people have always talked about in stories: pain, hate, truth, courage, destiny, friendship, responsibility, growing old, growing up, falling in love, all of these things. What I try to write about are the darkest things in the soul, the mortal dreads. I try to go into those places in me that contain the cauldrous. I want to dip up the fire, and I want to put it on paper. The closer I get to the burning core of my being, the things which are most painful to me, the better is my work.
    • I will use big words from time to time, the meanings of which I may only vaguely perceive, in hopes such cupidity will send you scampering to your dictionary: I will call such behavior 'public service.'
    • If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.
    • In these days of widespread illiteracy, functional illiteracy... anything that keeps people stupid is a felony.
    • It is a love/hate relationship I have with the human race. I am an elitist, and I feel that my responsibility is to drag the human race along with me- that I will never pander to, or speak down to, or play the safe game. Because my immortal soul will be lost.
    • The real story of our times is seldom told in the horse-puckey-filled memoirs of dopey, self-serving presidents or generals, but in the outrageous, demented lives of guys like Lenny Bruce, Giordano Bruno, Scott Fitzgerald - and Paul Krassner. The burrs under society's saddle. The pains in the ass.
    • The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen... and stupidity.
    • There are two things I found when I did the Merv Griffin show, the two things I said that got them really crazy, was that I didn't believe in god, and that I really believe there are some people who are better than others.
    • When they say, 'Gee, it's an information explosion!' - no, it's not an explosion, it's a disgorgement of the bowels is what it is. Every idiotic thing that anybody could possibly write or say or think can get into the body politic now - where before things would have to have some merit to go through the publishing routine, now, anything. And all you're getting is an explosion of useless crap, which added to the other useless crap that was being done originally, only makes it that much worse.
    • Why do people keep insisting that I join the twenty-first century? I live in the twenty-first century! I just don't want to be bothered by the shitheads on the internet!
    • harlan ellison

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