I never let my schooling interfere with my education.
― Mark Twain

A

Abortion
“New Rule: If you can force a woman to look at a sonogram—to see what will happen if she has an abortion—you also have to let her see a crying baby, a bratty five-year-old, and a surly teenager to see what will happen if she doesn’t. And you have to tell her it costs $204,000 to raise it until it turns eighteen, in 2028, where it will be a slave to the Chinese, in a radioactive world with no animals, fish, or plants.”
― Bill Maher, The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass

Americans
God created war so that Americans would learn geography.
― Mark Twain

Apartheid
The genius of apartheid was convincing people who were the overwhelming majority to turn on each other. Apart hate, is what it was. You separate people into groups and make them hate one another so you can run them all.
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime

Astrology
Primitive belief system made into elaborate pseudo-science. It arrogantly makes humans the focal point of the universe. The movement of planets is supposed to signify petty developments in our career or love life. It was developed in the 2nd century AD by the philosopher Claudius Ptolemy and has not moved on since. Despite the discovery of new planets and despite a shift in the earth’s rotational axis that has thrown Ptolemy’s zodiac out by 23 degrees.
— Richard Dawkins, Enemies of Reason (2007)

You are always born under the wrong sign and being in the world in a dignified way means correcting your horoscope day by day.
[ITA] Si nasce sempre sotto il segno sbagliato e stare al mondo in modo dignitoso vuol dire correggere giorno per giorno il proprio oroscopo.
— Umberto Eco

B

Bible
To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click “I agree.”
— Bill Maher

When I think of all the harm [the Bible] has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it.
— Oscar Wilde

C

Computers
The computer is not a smart machine that helps stupid people; on the contrary, it’s a stupid machine that only works in the hands of intelligent people.
[ITA] Il computer non è una macchina intelligente che aiuta le persone stupide, anzi, è una macchina stupida che funziona solo nelle mani delle persone intelligenti.
— Umberto Eco

Church
The Church is the merciless heart of the State.
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

Conformism
Conformism is the peace of one who feels in harmony with the mass that surrounds him. Or it is the restlessness, the discomfort, the loss of those who move away from the norm.
Il conformismo è la pace di colui che si sente in armonia con la massa che lo attornia. Oppure è l’inquietudine, il disagio, lo smarrimento di chi si allontana dalla norma.
— Dino Buzzati, Sessanta racconti, 1958

Consumerism
The power of consumer goods … has been engendered by the so-called liberal and progressive demands of freedom, and, by appropriating them, has emptied them of their meaning, and changed their nature.
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

D

Death
Death does determine life. Once life is finished it acquires a sense; up to that point it has not got a sense; its sense is suspended and therefore ambiguous. However, to be sincere I must add that for me death is important only if it is not justified and rationalized by reason. For me death is the maximum of epicness and death.
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

F

Feminists
Movement of women who want equality of privileges without accepting equality of responsibilities.

Freedom
In a society where everything is forbidden, everything can be done: in a society where something is allowed, only that something can be done
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

G

God bless America.
“What the fuck does that mean?” God bless America. Is that a request? Is that a demand? Is that a suggestion? Politicians say it at the end of every speech as if it were some sort of verbal tick that they can’t get rid of. “God bless you and God bless America. God bless you and God bless America.” I guess they figure if they leave it out, someone is going to think they’re bad Americans. Let me tell you a little secret about God, folks. God doesn’t give a flying fuck about America, OK. He doesn’t care. He never cared about this country. He never has. He never will. He doesn’t care about this country any more than he cares about Mongolia, Transylvania, Pittsburgh, the Suez Canal or the North Pole. He simply doesn’t care, OK. He doesn’t care. Listen, good. There are 200 countries in the world now. Do these people honestly think that God is sitting around picking out his favorites? Why would he do that? Why would God have a favorite country? And why would it be America out of all the countries? Because we have the most money? Because he likes our National Anthem? Maybe, it’s because he heard we have 18 delicious flavors of classic Rice-A-Roni. It’s delusional thinking. It’s delusional thinking, and Americans are not alone with this sort of delusions. Military cemeteries around the world are packed with brainwashed, dead soldiers who were convinced God was on their side. America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody is going to be disappointed. Somebody is wasting their fucking time. Could it be everyone?
— George Carlin: It’s Bad For Ya (2008)

L

Language
In a historical moment in which the verbal language is all conventional and sterilized (technicized) the language of behavior (physical and mimic) takes on a decisive importance.
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

M

Morality
One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn’t require religion at all.
Una delle grandi tragedie dell’umanità è che la moralità è stata sequestrata dalla religione. Così ora la gente suppone che la religione e la moralità abbiano una connessione necessaria. Ma la base della moralità è davvero molto semplice e non richiede affatto la religione.
— Arthur C. Clarke

The viciousness of the moralists is surpassed only by their profound stupidity.
[ITA] La ferocia dei moralisti è superata soltanto dalla loro profonda stupidità.
— Filippo Turati

N

Nationalism.
Nationalism teaches you to hate people you never met, and take pride in accomplishments you had no part.
— Doug Stanhope

O

Osessione successo
Success is nothing. Success is the other side of the persecution.
[ITA] Il successo non è niente. Il successo è l’altra faccia della persecuzione.
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

P

Perspective (Historical)
The name Hitler does not offend a black South African because Hitler is not the worst thing a black South African can imagine. Every country thinks their history is the most important, and that’s especially true in the West. But if black South Africans could go back in time and kill one person, Cecil Rhodes would come up before Hitler. If people in the Congo could go back in time and kill one person, Belgium’s King Leopold would come way before Hitler. If Native Americans could go back in time and kill one person, it would probably be Christopher Columbus or Andrew Jackson.
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime

Power
Nothing is more anarchic than power, power practically does what it wants. And what the power wants is completely arbitrary or dictated by its economic need, which escapes rational logic. I hate above all the power of today. Everyone hates the power he suffers, so I hate the power of these days with particular vehemence. It is a power that manipulates bodies in a horrible way, which has nothing to envy to the manipulation done by Himmler or Hitler. He manipulates them by transforming their consciousness, that is, in the worst way, by establishing new values ​​that are alienating and false values, the values ​​of consumption, which fulfill what Marx calls a genocide of living, real, previous cultures. Values ​​have fallen, and have been replaced with other values. Patterns of behavior have fallen and have been replaced by other patterns of behavior. This substitution was not wanted by the people, from the bottom, but they were imposed by the new consumerist power, that is our Italian multi-national industry and also the national industrialist one, wanted the Italians to consume in a certain way, a certain type of merchandise, and to consume it they had to realize a new human model.
[ITA] Nulla è più anarchico del potere, il potere fa praticamente ciò che vuole. E ciò che il potere vuole è completamente arbitrario o dettato da sua necessità di carattere economico, che sfugge alle logiche razionali. Io detesto soprattutto il potere di oggi. Ognuno odia il potere che subisce, quindi odio con particolare veemenza il potere di questi giorni. È un potere che manipola i corpi in un modo orribile, che non ha niente da invidiare alla manipolazione fatta da Himmler o da Hitler. Li manipola trasformandone la coscienza, cioè nel modo peggiore, istituendo dei nuovi valori che sono dei valori alienanti e falsi, i valori del consumo, che compiono quello che Marx chiama un genocidio delle culture viventi, reali, precedenti. Sono caduti dei valori, e sono stati sostituiti con altri valori. Sono caduti dei modelli di comportamento e sono stati sostituiti da altri modelli di comportamento. Questa sostituzione non è stata voluta dalla gente, dal basso, ma sono stati imposti dal nuovo potere consumistico, cioè la nostra industria italiana pluri-nazionale e anche quella nazionale degli industrialotti, voleva che gli italiani consumassero in un certo modo, un certo tipo di merce, e per consumarlo dovevano realizzare un nuovo modello umano.
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

Power has become a consumer power, infinitely more effective in imposing its will than any other power in the world. Persuasion following a hedonistic conception of life ridicules every previous authoritarian effort of persuasion.
[ITA] Il potere è divenuto un potere consumistico, infinitamente più efficace nell’imporre la propria volontà che qualsiasi altro potere al mondo. La persuasione a seguire una concezione edonistica della vita ridicolizza ogni precedente sforzo autoritario di persuasione.
— Pier Paolo Pasolini

Philosophy
Philosophy is always a form of high dilettantism, in which someone, so long as he has read, always talks about things he has not sufficiently prepared for.
[ITA] La filosofia è sempre una forma di alto dilettantismo, in cui qualcuno, per tanto che abbia letto, parla sempre di cose su cui non si è preparato abbastanza.
— Umberto Eco

R

Reading
At the age of 70, those who don’t read will have led only one life: their own. Those who read will have lived 5000 years: they were there when Cain killed Abel, when Renzo married Lucia and when Leopardi admired the infinite… because literature is backwards immortality.
[ITA] Chi non legge, a 70 anni avrà vissuto una sola vita: la propria. Chi legge avrà vissuto 5000 anni: c’era quando Caino uccise Abele, quando Renzo sposò Lucia, quando Leopardi ammirava l’infinito… perché la lettura è un’immortalità all’indietro.
— Umberto Eco

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
[ITA] Se leggete solo i libri che stanno leggendo tutti gli altri, state pensando solo ciò che chiunque altro sta pensando.
— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

S

Social Media
Social media gives legions of imbeciles the right to speak; they once only spoke in bars after a glass of wine, without harming the community. They were quickly silenced, but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s an invasion of imbeciles.
[ITA] I social media danno diritto di parola a legioni di imbecilli che prima parlavano solo al bar dopo un bicchiere di vino, senza danneggiare la collettività. Venivano subito messi a tacere, mentre ora hanno lo stesso diritto di parola di un Premio Nobel. È l’invasione degli imbecilli.
[FR] Les réseaux sociaux ont donné le droit de parole à des légions d’imbéciles qui, avant, ne parlaient qu’au bar, après un verre de vin et ne causaient aucun tort à la collectivité. On les faisait taire tout de suite alors qu’aujourd’hui ils ont le même droit de parole qu un prix Nobel. C’est l’invasion des imbéciles.
— Umberto Eco [parlando ai giornalisti, durante la cerimonia di conferimento della laurea honoris causa in Comunicazione e Cultura dei media]

T

Thoughts and Prayers
This is who I’m making fun of when I make a joke on Twitter the day of a tragedy. The people who see something horrible happen in the world and they run to the Internet. And they run to their social media, Facebook, Twitter, whatever they got. And they all write down the exact same thing: “My thoughts and prayers…” “My thoughts and prayers with the people in Aurora.” “My thoughts and prayers with the families in Boston.” Do you know what that’s worth? Fucking nothing. Fucking less than nothing. Less than nothing. You are not giving any of your time, your money or even your compassion. All you are doing, all you are doing, is saying, “Don’t forget about me today.” “Don’t forget about me.” “Lots of crazy distractions in the news, but don’t forget how sad I am.” Those people are worthless and they deserve to be made fun of. They’re like a wedding photographer who only takes selfies. You understand?
— Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts And Prayers (2015)

Truth
Trust those who seek the truth but doubt those who say they have found it.
[FR] Croyez ceux qui cherchent la vérité, doutez de ceux qui la trouvent
André Gide