James Agate’s New Year’s Resolution

“New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.” – James Agate

Yeah, I think I’ll add this one to my list, too.

“James Evershed Agate (9 September 1877 – 6 June 1947) was an English diarist and influential theatre critic between the two world wars. He took up journalism in his late twenties and was on the staff of The Manchester Guardian (1907–1914). He later became a drama critic for The Saturday Review (1921–1923), The Sunday Times (1923–1947) and the BBC (1925–1932). The nine volumes of Agate’s diaries and letters cover the British theatre of his time and his non-theatrical interests, including sports, social gossip and private preoccupations with health and precarious finances. He published three novels, translated a play briefly staged in London, and regularly published collections of his theatre essays and reviews.” (Wikipedia)

Hogfather, Terry Pratchett

HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little -“

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

“So we can believe the big ones?”

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

“They’re not the same at all!”

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET – Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME… SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point -“

MY POINT EXACTLY.

Halfway out of the Dark

“On every world, wherever people are, in the deepest part of the winter, at the exact mid-point, everybody stops and turns and hugs. As if to say, ‘Well done. Well done, everyone! We’re halfway out of the dark.'” – Doctor Who, “A Christmas Carol”

“Amy and Rory are trapped on a crashing space liner, and the only way the Doctor can rescue them is to save the soul of a lonely old miser, Kazran Sardick. But is Sardick, the richest man in Sardicktown, beyond redemption? And what is lurking in the fogs of Christmas Eve?” (“A Christmas Carol,” Doctor Who (IMDB | Amazon)

George Carlin on Santa Claus

“The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.” – George Carlin

“George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic. Carlin was noted for his black comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects.” (Wikipedia)

Neel Mukherjee on Boredom

“To write, I think one must sit in one place and be bored. Boredom is a very good state for writers to be. Things cook away in your head when you’re bored, and suddenly one day, you have a book or a germ of a book.” – Neel Mukherjee

“Neel Mukherjee (born 1970) is an India-born writer who lives in London and writes in English. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels. He is also brother of famous television anchor/editor Udayan Mukherjee. His first novel, Past Continuous, won the Vodafone-Crossword Book Award in 2008 and several more awards when republished in the U.K. in 2010. His second novel, The Lives of Others, was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize and won the Encore Award.” (Wikipedia)

Douglas Adams on Sloths

“My absolute favourite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees.” – Douglas Adams

Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author, scriptwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist. (Wikipedia)

Photo: Feeding brown-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus), Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, by Christian Mehlführer, CC BY 2.5. (Source and license.)