In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good work, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby.— Alistair Cooke
The most sensual Alistair Cooke quotes to discover and learn by heart
The best compliment to a child or a friend is the feeling you give him that he has been set free to make his own inquiries, to come to conclusions that are right for him, whether or not they coincide with your own.
A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it.
It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without it.
When television came roaring in after the war (World War II) they did a little school survey asking children which they preferred and why - television or radio. And there was this 7-year-old boy who said he preferred radio "because the pictures were better.
Although the Jeffersonian Law ("All men are created equal") is the first article of the American faith, the facts of American life have demonstrated for some time now that it is an irksome faith to live by.
Curiosity endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in their own mode of life which springs from their cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will.
They have been playing golf for 800 years and nobody has satisfactorily said why.
The best thing about Eisenhower's Presidency was his Jeffersonian conviction that there should be as little government and as much golf as possible.
Between a quarter and a third of Los Angeless land area is now monopolized by the automobile and its needs-by freeways, highways, garages, gas stations, car lots, parking lots. And all of it is blanketed with anonymity and foul air.
Texas does not, like any other region, simply have indigenous dishes.
It proclaims them. It congratulates you, on your arrival, at having escaped from the slop pails of the other 49 states.
Hollywood grew to be the most flourishing factory of popular mythology since the Greeks.
People, when they first come to America, whether as travelers or settlers, become aware of a new and agreeable feeling: that the whole country is their oyster.
As always, the British especially shudder at the latest American vulgarity, and then they embrace it with enthusiasm two years later
Curiosity is free-wheeling intelligence.
It is a wonderful tribute to the game or to the dottiness of the people who play it that for some people somewhere there is no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle, an unplayable course, the wrong time of the day or year.
New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.
America is a country in which I see the most persistant idealism and the blandest of cynicism and the race is on between its vitality and its decadence.
Golf is an open exhibition of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, skill soured by a whiff of arrogance.
Washington's birthday is as close to a secular Christmas as any Christian country dare come this side of blasphemy.
But afterall it's not the winning that matters, is it? Or is it? It'sto coinawordtheamenitiesthatcount: thesmell of the dandelions, the puff of the pipe, the click of the bat, the rain on the neck, the chill down the spine, the slow, exquisite coming on of sunset and dinner and rheumatism.
People in America, when listening to radio, like to lean forward.
People in Britain like to lean back.
It used to be said that you had to know what was happening in America because it gave us a glimpse of our future. Today, the rest of America, and after that Europe, had better heed what happens in California, for it already reveals the type of civilisation that is in store for all of us.
Man has an incurable habit of not fulfilling the prophecies of his fellow men.
Las Vegas is Everymans cut-rate Babylon.
Not far away there is, or was, a roadside lunch counter and over it a sign proclaiming in three words that a Roman emperors orgy is now a democratic institution. 'Topless Pizza Lunch'.
Cocktail music is accepted as audible wallpaper.
To the goggling unbeliever Texans say, as people always say about their mangier dishes, 'But it's just like chicken, only tenderer.' Rattlesnake is, in fact, just like chicken - only tougher.
Like a christening, a wedding, a graduation ceremony, a holy war, a revolutioneven?a fireworksdisplay, agaudy promise of what life ought to be, not life itself.
Americans are less mystical about what produced their inland or meadow courses;
they are the product of the bulldozerm rotary ploughs, mowers, sprinkler systems and alarmingly generous wads of folding money.
To get an elementary grasp of the game of golf, a human must learn, by endless practice, a continuous and subtle series of highly unnatural movements, involving about sixty-four muscles, that result in a seemingly natural swing, taking two seconds to begin and end.
More than anything else, though, to anyone who would write about it, golf offers a four-hour drama in two acts, which becomes memorable even in the tape-recorded reminiscenses of old champs, and which - in the hands of someone like Herb Wind - can become a piece of war correspondence as artfully controlled as Alan Morehead's account of Gallipoli.
[In 1889] the last big tract of Indian land was declared open for settlement, in Oklahoma. The claimants and the speculators mounted their horses and lined up like trotters waiting for a starting gun. The itchy ones jumped the gun and were ever after known as Sooners-and Oklahoma was thereafter called the Sooner State.
The emblem on the necktie reserved for the members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews - The Vatican of golf - is of St. Andrew himself bearing the slatier cross on which, once he was captured at Patras, he was to be stretched before he was crucified.Only the Scots would have thought of celebrating a national game with the figure of a tortured saint.
Canned music is like audible wallpaper.
I hasten to say to snobs from the Surrey pine-and-sand country that no invention since the corn plaster or the electric toothbrush has brought greater balm to the extremities of the senior golfer than the golfmobile, a word that will have to do for want of a better.
There is even - as with no other game - a fascinating detective literature, a wry commentary on the human comedy, implicit in the book of rules.
If computers take over, it will serve us right.
[Golfers] are a special kind of moral realist who nips the normal romantic and idealistic yearnings in the bud by proving once or twice a week that life is unconquerable but endurable.
Curiosity...endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will.
The South is one of those kingdoms of the mind, like India or Scotland, that are neat and understandable only to people who have never been there.
No myth dies harder, and none is more regularly debunked by the facts, than the one about international sports contributing to international friendship.
The Masters is more like a vast Edwardian garden party than a golf tournament.
I talk to my typewriter and that is what I've been working on for 40 years-how to write for talking.
I prefer radio to TV because the pictures are better.
Authors are now marketed like promising movie starlets and must rattle around the nation's television stations to try to assert a salable identity different from that of the other starlets.
It's an acting job - acting natural.
It has always been cited as an irrepressible symptom of America's vitality that her people, in fair times and foul, believe in themselves and their institutions.
It rose slowly like a gull sensing a reckless blue fish to close to the surface, and then it dived relentlessly for the green, kicked and stopped three feet short of the flag.
I think it was Roger Fry who first coined what he took to be a final definition of a work of art, whether it was a painting, building, poem or Hepplewhite chair. He said that the best works of art are finished products that preserve 'a valuable state of mind'.