Russell Baker. fully Russell Wayne Baker

Russell
Baker. fully Russell Wayne Baker
1925

American Journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning Writer, Author, Humorist and Political Satirist

Author Quotes

Caution: These verses may be hazardous to your solemnity.

Life is always walking up to us and saying, 'Come on in, the living's fine,' and what do we do? Back off and take its picture.

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.

Children rarely want to know who their parents were before they were parents, and when age finally stirs their curiosity, there is no parent left to tell them.

Life seemed to be an educator's practical joke in which you spent the first half learning and the second half learning that everything you learned in the first half was wrong.

The old notion that brevity is the essence of wit has succumbed to the modern idea that tedium is the essence of quality.

Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.

Live by publicity, you'll probably die by publicity.

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.

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.

Long words, fat talk — they may tell us something about ourselves. Has the passion for fat in the language increased as self-confidence has waned?

The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist.

Happiness is a small and unworthy goal for something as big and fancy as a whole lifetime, and should be taken in small doses.

Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.

The young cult of sociology, needing a language, invented one. There are many dead languages, but the sociologists' is the only language that was dead at birth.

I frankly admit to not knowing who I am. This is why I refuse to buy clothes that will tell people who I want them to think I am.

Most English speakers do not have the writer's short fuse about seeing or hearing their language brutalized. This is the main reason, I suspect, that English is becoming the world's universal tongue: English-speaking natives don't care how badly others speak English as long as they speak it. French, once considered likely to become the world's lingua franca, has lost popularity because those who are born speaking it reject this liberal attitude and become depressed, insulted or insufferable when their language is ill-used.

There is no business like show business, Irving Berlin once proclaimed, and thirty years ago he may have been right, but not anymore. Nowadays almost every business is like show business, including politics, which has become more like show business than show business is.

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.

I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens on a hostile world.

Objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories: those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.

Though Americans talk a good deal about the virtue of being serious, they generally prefer people who are solemn over people who are serious. In politics, the rare candidate who is serious, like Adlai Stevenson, is easily overwhelmed by one who is solemn, like General Eisenhower. This is probably because it is hard for most people to recognize seriousness, which is rare, especially in politics, but comfortable to endorse solemnity, which is as commonplace as jogging.

A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn't have to take a cab twenty miles out of town to reach it.

I worry about people who get born nowadays, because they get born into such tiny families, sometimes into no family at all. When you're the only pea in the pod, your parents are likely to get you confused with the Hope Diamond. And that encourages you to talk too much.

One of the many burdens of the person professing Christianity has always been the odium likely to be heaped upon him by fellow Christians quick to smell out, denounce, and punish fraud, hypocrisy, and general unworthiness among those who assert the faith. In ruder days, disputes about what constituted a fully qualified Christian often led to sordid quarrels in which the disputants tortured, burned, and hanged each other in the conviction that torture, burning, and hanging were Christian things to do.

Author Picture
First Name
Russell
Last Name
Baker. fully Russell Wayne Baker
Birth Date
1925
Bio

American Journalist, Pulitzer Prize-winning Writer, Author, Humorist and Political Satirist