An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong.— Russell Baker
The most fantastic Russell Baker quotes that are glad to read
The people who are always hankering loudest for some golden yesteryear usually drive new cars.
Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.
The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.
What the New Yorker calls home would seem like a couple of closets to most Americans, yet he manages not only to live there but also to grow trees and cockroaches right on the premises.
In an age when the fashion is to be in love with yourself, confessing to be in love with somebody else is an admission of unfaithfulness to one's beloved.
A solved problem creates two new problems, and the best prescription for happy living is not to solve any more problems.
Americans like fat books and thin women.
It seems to be a law in American life that whatever enriches us anywhere except in the wallet inevitably becomes uneconomic.
Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.
A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.
The worst thing about the miracle of modern communications is the Pavlovian pressure it places upon everyone to communicate whenever a bell rings.
Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.
You can't enjoy light verse with a heavy heart.
The sinister nature of the American soil is apparent in places like Gettysburg.
Fertilize it with the blood of heros, and it brings forth a frozen-custard stand.
In America nothing dies easier than tradition.
In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language.
It helps readers hear you the way you want to be heard.
Anticipating that most poetry will be worse than carrying heavy luggage through O'Hare Airport, the public, to its loss, reads very little of it.
When it comes to cars, only two varieties of people are possible - cowards and fools.
Happiness is a small and unworthy goal for something as big and fancy as a whole lifetime, and should be taken in small doses.
It was dramatic to watch my grandmother decapitate a turkey with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with gourmet status.
The charm of television entertainment is its ability to bridge the chasm between dinner and bedtime without mental distraction.
I gave up on new poetry myself 30 years ago when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens in a hostile world.
Television was the most revolutionary event of the century.
Its importance was in a class with the discovery of gunpowder and the invention of the printing press, which changed the human condition for centuries afterward.
Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets.
Live by publicity, you'll probably die by publicity.
The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.
New York is the only city in the world where you can get run down on the sidewalk by a pedestrian.
Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I.
Notice, for example, that people who talk about "the joys of childhood" are always adults. Only an adult, utterly remote from the reality of childhood, could suppose it is time of joys.
Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperately? I say that what we really need is a car that can be shot when it breaks down.
It takes great self-confidence to write a newspaper column.
Some might say it takes arrogance. Be that as it may, my willingness to pronounce on a great many matters of which I have little or no knowledge is one of my prime qualifications for this trade.
So there he is at last. Man on the moon. The poor magnificent bungler! He can't even get to the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and, vroom! there he is, up on a rock a quarter of a million miles up in the sky.
Reporters thrive on the world's misfortune.
For this reason they often take an indecent pleasure in events that dismay the rest of humanity.
Goat cheese... produced a bizarre eating era when sensible people insisted that this miserable cheese produced by these miserable creatures reared on miserable hardscrabble earth was actually superior to the magnificent creamy cheeses of the noblest dairy animals bred in the richest green valleys of the earth.
In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses.
Caution: These verses may be hazardous to your solemnity.
The French fried potato has become an inescapable horror in almost every public eating place in the country. 'French fries', say the menus, but they are not French fries any longer. They are a furry-textured substance with the taste of plastic wood.
The biographer's problem is that he never knows enough.
The autobiographer's problem is that he knows too much.
There was scarcely a woman alive, it seemed, who could resist the urge to haul men down onto beds, car seats, kitchen floors, dining-room tables, park grass, parlor sofas, or packing crates, entwine warm thighs around them, and pant in ecstasy.
The people who say: 'You are what you eat' have always seemed addled to me.
In my opinion, you are what you think, and if you don't think, you can eat all the meat in Kansas City and still be nothing but a vegetable.
Urban people, of course, are terribly scared nowadays.
They may yearn for society, but it is risky to go around talking to strangers, for a lot of reasons, one being that people are so accustomed not to have many human contacts that they are afraid they may find out they really prefer life that way.
After that [father's death] I never cried with any real conviction, nor expected much of anyone's God except indifference, nor loved deeply without fear that it would cost me dearly in pain. At the age of five I had become a skeptic and began to sense that any happiness that came my way might be the prelude to some grim cosmic joke.
A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn't have to take a cab 20 miles out of town to reach it.
The Government cannot afford to have a country made up entirely of rich people, because rich people pay so little tax that the Government would quickly go bankrupt. This is why Government men always tell us that labor is man's noblest calling. Government needs labor to pay its upkeep.
Grass is the least rewarding of all status symbols.
.. The grass does nothing but drink money, exhaust energies, crush spirits, destroy sleep, create tensions and interfere with the watching of baseball games, and sprout insolent signs ordering humans to keep off it.
Baltimore is permissiveness. The pleasures of the flesh, the table, the bottle, and the purse are tolerated with a civilized understanding.
Journalist: A person with nothing on his mind and the power to express it.
Objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.