Unquotable:Voltaire

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"No, Goddammit, I did not invent "kitten huffing."
"Annoying, the French are."

Voltaire (real name: Frankie M. Amwaydistributor, b. 1694, d. 1964) was one of France's most erudite and intelligent fops. A writer, philosopher, window cleaner, and sanitary napkin manufacturer, Voltaire's legacy will always be remembered, whatever it might have been(even if it was because he spread herpes).

Always a source of witty and utterly misattributed quotes, Voltaire wrote his first play in 1717 while in prison for criticizing the French government's abusive and reactionary policies on how ripe the country's brie should be when eaten. After his release, he quickly made a name for himself in the notorious skee-ball parlors of Paris until being tested positive for elevated testosterone levels, after which his fellow Frenchmen refused to speak to him. Finally, after an incident in which he insulted the infamous Chevalier de Rohan in 1726 for being "straight," Voltaire was forced to move to England — where, like any true Frenchman, he whined about the shitty food for nearly three years. (During this time, the number of quotes produced by Voltaire regarding shitty food nearly quadrupled.) Returning to France in 1730, he lasted for nearly four more years before being told to leave again in 1734, this time for "having a really messed-up attitude," and yet again in 1749, for being a "wanker."

Voltaire was generally critical of religious intolerance and persecution, a capital crime in 18th-Century France. Nevertheless, after the Revolution, he was allowed to return to Paris in 1790 at the age of 83 in order to contest a parking ticket. Found guilty of parallel parking (another capital crime in 18th-Century France), Voltaire was sentenced to death by old age, and was executed three days later. His profound and prophetic last words were forgotten almost immediately. Buried first at Champagne Abbey, his remains were later moved to Gasoline Alley, and then transferred to the local Chuck E. Cheese by a group of Mormons, where they were used as a coat-rack for nearly 50 years. Finally, his body was permanently interred in a nearby dishwasher, just to "make things extra-complicated."

Some Famous Quotes by Voltaire[edit]

Voltaire on Humanity[edit]

  • "Better is the enemy of good, so good had better watch its back. Better is also the enemy of insurance salesmen and tax preparers. To be honest, better can be a real pain in the ass sometimes."
  • "Tolerance is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us admit that to ourselves, so that you can just apologize to me and quit being such a dipshit."
  • "Supermodels who live in glass houses should throw nude parties."
  • "Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers, because the questions are usually much more laughable."
  • "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. I tried bolt-cutters for a while, but I kept straining my biceps, so I went back to the hacksaw. And why do they keep chaining themselves up like that, anyway? Is that some weird sexual thing?"
  • "Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness, or pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity, and man, am I stoned or what?"

Voltaire on Government[edit]

  • "Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has my vote!"
  • "To hold a pen is to be at war. So, when the enemy troops start charging at me, I usually hide the pen in my ass-crack."
  • "I said that an ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination, but I never thought Jimbo Wales and his army of idiots would actually take me seriously."
  • "In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens and giving it to George W. Bush's oil-industry buddies. Actually, make that all classes."
  • "The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but the ones that let him ban people for so-called 'trolling.'"
  • "The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it in terror. Another alternative is to eat it, of course."

Voltaire on Religion[edit]

  • "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent hallucinogenic drugs."
  • "All men are born with a nose, ten fingers, a spleen, several feet of large and small intestines, an addiction to cheap porn, halitosis..."
  • "God is always on the side of the big battalions, because if He weren't, then I wouldn't have said this."
  • "When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion — although for some reason, these Islamic extremists refuse to take personal checks."
  • "To believe in God is impossible, unless of course you have the evidence on videotape."
  • "What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything, except for this stupid obsession you seem to have with Britney Spears."
  • "Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than my terrifyingly gigantic penis!"

Voltaire on Art and Literature[edit]

  • "It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must be able to jerk off to it."
  • "Satire lies about literary men while they live, and eulogies lie about them when they die, whereas people on the internet just lie about them whenever the fuck they want."
  • "The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to worthless shite. After all, a typical river current only runs at about 20 miles an hour, sometimes less — hardly what you'd call instantaneous."
  • "One merit of poetry that few persons will deny is that it's completely tax-deductible, and carries no penalty for early withdrawal. (State and local taxes and interest fees may apply.) It's win-win!"
  • "I know many books which have bored their readers, but I know of none which has done real evil. On the other hand, they're talking about doing a printed version of Wikipedia pretty soon."

Voltaire on Hot Weather[edit]

  • "I once saw a horse wade into a creek and start steaming. She was smoking a cigarette and I was zipping up, but I say it was the sun."

Voltaire on Humor[edit]

  • "The secret of being tiresome is in telling people all about your bizarre sexual experiences with midgets, Italian acrobats, and people dressed in elaborate animal costumes. Seriously, nobody really wants to hear about that sort of thing."
  • "God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. To be honest, though, He's not all that funny to begin with."
  • "We have a natural right to make use of our pens as we have of our tongues, at our peril, risk and hazard. Of course, anyone who would stick a pen into a perfectly good ham sandwich and then eat the sandwich is basically begging for peritonitis anyway."
  • "I have never made but one prayer, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it! Man, that God is such an awesome dude! I thought about praying for them to disappear, too, but I had a date with a Portuguese supermodel that night, so I kinda got distracted."
  • "When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, and neither of them laughs, that is two Mormons trying to tell jokes to each other."

Voltaire on Chance, Fortune, and Fate[edit]

  • "Chance is simply a word devoid of sense. Nothing can exist without a cause, except of course for internet lunatics."
  • "Everything is for the best in this best of all possible menages a trois."
  • "I cannot dream that this watch exists and has no watchmaker! But that's what it says on the back of the watch, so I obviously don't know jack-shit about how they make watches."
  • "It is said that the present is pregnant with the future, but I'm begging you, you've just got to believe that I did not have sex with that, uh, period of time."
  • "One must believe in fortune.....how else do you explain the success of those you hate?"

Voltaire on Getting Up In The Morning[edit]

  • "Everything's fine today; that is our illusion. The reality, of course, is that everything totally sucks."
  • "You see many stars at night in the sky but find them not when the sun rises; can you say that there are no stars in the heaven of day? Well, obviously you can say it, but can you really believe it? Okay, so you can believe it, but doesn't that make you some sort of moron? It does? So like, why are you agreeing with me? Oh, I see, you just want me to shut up."
  • "Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do us any good, unless we have a huge amount of money already."
  • "What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy. Then again, if you've got a chance for some back-door action and don't go for it, I don't care how old you are, you're just a pathetic dweeb."
  • "God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of peeing, pooping, farting, belching, and smelling like dead rats."

Voltaire on France[edit]

  • "We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak French, if only to piss people off."
  • "History is only the register of crimes and misfortunes, but once you get out of France, it isn't so bad."
  • "Do well in life, and you will have no need to become a Paris street mime."
  • "The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture for wild beasts to fight in. Likewise, the French built their greatest masterpieces of architecture for Germans to drive past on their way through Belgium."
  • "I like me dem French fried taters. Mm-hmm."
  • "Our country is that spot to which our heart is bound. Actually, I'm just kidding — that's our sternum. Our country is just a heap of dirt, to be perfectly honest."
  • "Whoever serves his country well has no need of intelligent military strategy. Actually, that's something Donald Rumsfeld told me, I'm just repeating what he said."
  • "It's lamentable that to be a good patriot, one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind. Then again, it's pretty hard not to hate the Swiss, either way."

Voltaire on Pride[edit]

  • "We are rarely proud when we are alone. I mean, half the time we're just masturbating, anyway. Not much to be proud of there."
  • "I advise you to go on living, solely to enrage those who are paying your salary. It will also enrage me, but I said I would try to be impartial, so..."
  • "He who fights and runs away lives to run away again."
  • "This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must do it at least once a day, twice if we can manage."
  • "Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes. Hold on, did I just say 'opinion'? I meant to say your opinion."
  • "He who thinks himself wise is a great fool. He who actually is wise is also a great fool, just better at concealing it from the cops."

Voltaire on People[edit]

  • "Think for yourselves, and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. Or at least just let them do it, even if they don't enjoy it all that much."
  • "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say how wrong you were when you said it."
  • "Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd, so let's say I'm about 98 percent sure you're retarded."
  • "The opportunity for doing mischief is found a hundred times a day, and of doing good once in a year, so I guess you can hardly blame these people for behaving like that."
  • "I killed my mama."
  • "No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking, which is why Ann Coulter never actually solves anything."
  • "How inexpressible is the meanness of being a hypocrite! How horrible it is, to be a mischievous and malignant hypocrite. How disgusting is the nasty, rotten hypocrite. Damn, I sure do hate hypocrites... Of course, I would never actually say anything bad about them."

Voltaire on Love, Sex, and Anarchy[edit]

  • "Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by hot Asian chicks."
  • "We cannot wish for that we know not, but we certainly can have no end of bizarre, perverted fantasies about it."
  • "The women here are like parking spots. Either they are taken or they are handicapped. On the off chance you do get one it is only because someone else has just pulled out."
  • "I cole-cocked a bitch with my dick one time. SLAPPOW!"
  • "I hate women because they always know where things are, but I hate men too, because they always think they can tell the woman I just had sex with the night before that I put things in the wrong place because I have no respect for her as a human being, and of course she always believes it because, well... quite frankly, it's true."
  • "Illusion is actually the second of all pleasures, not the first. The first is to do the hoochie-koo in the shower with a really soaped-up Spanish babe."
  • "I love queef. Queefy queef queef. Here it goes down. Down into my belly. Mm, mm, mm."
  • "Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I used to believe marriage was invented first, since that made more sense, but the ancients were pretty smart people when it came to always providing themselves with an escape clause. I mean, just read the Old Testament."
  • "It is an infantile superstition of the human spirit that virginity is thought to be a virtue, but an intense desire to rip off your clothes and have unprotected sex with me is not."

Voltaire on Success[edit]

  • "Business is the salt of life, but ask yourself, is it iodized salt? That helps prevent goiters, you know."
  • "He shines in the second rank, who is eclipsed in the first, but seems dull in the third rank, unless he started out in the first rank and was demoted, or was promoted too quickly from the fourth rank, or else... on second thought, screw it."
  • "Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders a man happy. Wait a minute, did I really just say that? I must be totally wasted!"
  • "Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law, and behind her stands the guy the man hired to make it look like an accident."
  • "Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires much time to grow really, really huge breasts."

Voltaire on Wickedness[edit]

  • "To the wicked, everything serves as pretext. Actually, for most of those people, everything just serves, period."
  • "Love has features which pierce all hearts; that's why he carries plenty of bandages with him, which he sells at enormously inflated prices to the people he's just stabbed. It's quite similar to Microsoft's business model, come to think of it."
  • "It is forbidden to kill; therefore all killers are punished, unless of course they do it in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. By the way, it is also forbidden to have sex with farm animals."
  • "The multitude of books is making us ignorant. Also, they take up too much space in the den. Let's burn 'em!"

Voltaire on Some Guy[edit]

  • "Why doesn't that guy just go fuck himself? I've never understood why he doesn't just go do that."
  • "To him, it seemed that the gifts of an enemy were to be dreaded. But he'd gotten plenty of gifts from friends at his last birthday party that sucked, so he figured why not? What are the chances the package was booby-trapped? I mean, it was, but that isn't the point."
  • "My life used to be a struggle, until I had this one fellow strangled to death by a professional hit man."

Voltaire on Shitty Emo Bands[edit]

  • "Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung, and usually not particularly well, and they can never seem to get the recording levels right either."
  • "Man, that Copernicus sure is a dickhead. I absolutely hate that guy! And no, I don't care if this quote has nothing to do with "emo." Frankly, I don't even know what the fuck that is."
  • "I would rather put my nutsack to a cheesegrater for eternity, than have to listen to 'Niki FM' one more freakin time!"

Voltaire on Wikipedia[edit]

  • "I'm not arguing over what "founder" means. I am stating quite honestly that I am not a founder of Wikipedia. So just delete my stupid-ass article, okay? Jerkwads."
  • "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. So, like, think of the admins as a bunch of snowflakes."
  • "A witty saying proves nothing, but can still be used as evidence by a Wikipedia kangaroo court."
  • "As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to have my support in their RfA's!"
  • "Clever admins are never punished. Actually, not-so-clever admins are never punished either."
  • "What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous. That's why I have my massive sock puppet army."
  • "To succeed on Wikipedia it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered. Sexual deviancy helps too, obviously."
  • "Prejudice, my friend, governs the vulgar crowd. Of course, on the interwebs, prejudice governs the non-vulgar crowd too... Also, you're not really my friend, that was just a figure of speech."
  • "Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare the truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere! You've got everything completely wrong of course, but that never stopped you before."
  • "Froth at the top, dregs at bottom, and the middle utterly worthless."

Voltaire on Voltaire[edit]

  • "I did not say that. But that's a really good aphorism."

See Also[edit]