If you removed all of the homosexuals and homosexual influence from what is generally regarded as American culture, you would pretty much be left with Let's Make a Deal.
A hobby is, of course, an abomination, as are all consuming interests and passions that do not lead directly to large, personal gain.
Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.
The 3 questions of greatest concern are:, 1) Is it attractive?, 2) Is it amusing?, 3) Does it know its place?
China is not a great idea: capitalism and a dictator. It's like the two worst possible things you could imagine together. It's a very bad idea.
There's no such thing as advice to the lovelorn. If they took advice, they wouldn't be lovelorn.
There's no such thing as advice to the lovelorn. If they took advice, they wouldn't be lovelorn. You see, advice and lovelorn don't go together. Because advice makes love sound like some sort of cognitive activity, but we know that it isn't. We all know that it's some sort of horrible chemical reaction over which we have absolutely no control. And that's why advice doesn't work.
I'm not a Communist. I'm an American. I'm a capitalist. I mean, I'm not a very good capitalist, myself. I'm not very good at it, but it's not that I'm not for capitalism. But people who believe in things like corporate citizenship, it's idiotic. I mean, it shows you're an idiot.
Television turned out to be exactly as bad as the most irritating and pedantic intellectuals of the '50s said it was going to be.
Most writers write too much. I have the exact opposite problem. I feel I could write almost anything in a paragraph. I have a natural ability to condense, and so I often think, Are you kidding me? Five thousand words? How am I gonna make 5,000 words out of that?
No animal should ever jump up on the dining room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation.
Special-interest publications should realize that if they are attracting enough advertising and readers to make a profit, the interest is not so special.
Magazines all too frequently lead to books and should be regarded by the prudent as the heavy petting of literature.
The Italians are the most civilized people. And they're very warm. Basically, they're Jews with great architecture.
Middle class was defined by having certain values and only a certain amount of money. But this new middle class seems to have absolutely no values and an unlimited amount of money.
American women think that clothes fit them if they can fit into them. But that's not at all what fit means.
All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal. It's horrible to feel felonious every second of the day. It's much more relaxing to actually write.
It would also have been helpful to have gone to a Catholic grammar school. The only people who know grammar are those people who went to Catholic grammar school. Those nuns beat it into them.
It's very important who the president of the United States is. America is a great idea, so that's why it's a great country.
I must take issue with the term 'a mere child,' for it has been my invariable experience that the company of a mere child is infinitely preferable to that of a mere adult.
There were a zillion bad jobs. That doesn't exist any more. I mean, I could wake up one afternoon with zero money and know that by the end of the day, I would have money.
That which we call civilization is merely the accumulated debris of a chilling number of bad nights.
Now the culture is made of old things, it's a collage. Art made out of art is not art. You're supposed to make art out of life.
Being poor is like being a child. Being rich is like being an adult: you get to do whatever you want. Everyone is nice when they have to be; rich people are nice when they feel like it.
I believe that at birth everyone gets the capacity for a certain amount of drugs and alcohol, everyone the same, you can do it all between 15 and 19 like I did, or you can stretch it out over 70 years.
Writers get exactly the right amount of fame: just enough to get a good table in a restaurant but not enough so that people are constantly interrupting you while you're eating dinner.
Your grandparents did not endure the indignities of a steerage journey to Ellis Island so that you could stand outside a discothèque and beg a wallpaper designer to take you in with him.
When I started publishing, I got offers to write for big magazines. But I would always say, Well, it's not that I don't want to write for these big magazines, but you can't edit it.
I have the exact opposite problem of every writer I've ever met: Every writer I've ever met writes things that are too long, and they have to edit them down.
Friendships are easy to get out of compared to love affairs, but they are not easy to get out of compared to, say, jail.
Democracy is an interesting, even laudable, notion and there is no question but that when compared to Communism, which is too dull, or Fascism, which is too exciting, it emerges as the most palatable form of government.
Why not have your first baby at sixty, when your husband is already dead and your career is over? Then you can really devote yourself to it.
There are certain relationships I think I'm great at: I'm the world's greatest daughter. I'm a great relative. I believe I'm a great friend.
Ever since I was a little child, I refused to see movies of books that I loved. Because you already know what Heidi looks like and she doesn't look like Shirley Temple.
Cold soup is a very tricky thing and it is a rare hostess who can carry it off. More often than not the dinner guest is left with the impression that had he only come a little earlier he could have gotten it while it was still hot.
People have been cooking and eating for thousands of years, so if you are the very first to have thought of adding fresh lime juice to scalloped potatoes try to understand that there must be a reason for this.
I love sleep because it is both pleasant and safe to use.
I love sleep because it is both pleasant and safe to use. Pleasant because one is in the best possible company and safe because sleep is the consummate protection against the unseemliness that is the invariable consequence of being awake. What you don't know won't hurt you. Sleep is death without the responsibility.
If there had been a job of being a reader, I would have taken that, because I love to read and I don't love to write. That would be blissful.
Communism requires of its adherents that they arise early and participate in a strenuous round of calisthenics. To someone who wishes that cigarettes came already lit the thought of such exertion at an hour when decent people are just nodding off is thoroughly abhorrent.
I'm not a nervous person. I'm not afraid to be on TV. I'm only afraid when I write. When I'm at my desk I feel like most people would feel if they went on TV.
New York was always more expensive than the other places, even when it was going bankrupt. In other words, in 1971, New York was expensive for someone with no money. For anyone.
If people had gavels, there would be no wars. If every person in the world had a gavel and could bang it and get everyone's attention right away and make their displeasure known, I believe the level of actual violence in the world would just disappear to practically nothing.
It's very important when making a friend to check and see if they have a private plane. People think a good personality trait in a friend is kindness or a sense of humor. No, in a friend a good personality trait is a Gulfstream.
I'm such a slow writer I have no need for anything as fast as a word processor. I don't need anything so snappy. I write so slowly that I could write in my own blood without hurting myself.
While it is undeniably true that people love a surprise, it is equally true that they are seldom pleased to suddenly and without warning happen upon a series of prunes in what they took to be a normal loin of pork.
Educational television should be absolutely forbidden. It can only lead to unreasonable disappointment when your child discovers that the letters of the alphabet do not leap up out of books and dance around with royal-blue chickens.
Inhabitants of underdeveloped nations and victims of natural disasters are the only people who have ever been happy to see soybeans.
How do you know if your child is a writer? Your obstetrician holds his stethoscope to your abdomen and only hears excuses.
The thing you love right away, don't do it, because that's the very thing that's going to be your addiction for the rest of your life.
New York's not exactly antiseptic. It could be clean and less dangerous, and not horrible, not under a tidal wave of tourists.
When it comes to sports I am not particularly interested. Generally speaking, I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing except the right to trial by jury.
It's very disheartening to encounter a fearful twenty-one year old. They haven't earned the right to be that afraid. It's not like we're living in war-torn Bosnia or something.
Presently it appears that people are mainly concerned with being well rested. Those capable of uninterrupted sleep are much admired. Unconsciousness is in great demand. This is the day of the milligram.
Presently it appears that people are mainly concerned with being well rested. Those capable of uninterrupted sleep are much admired. Unconsciousness is in great demand. This is the day of the milligram. The rigors of learning how to do long division have been a traditional part of childhood, just like learning to smoke. In fact, as far as I am concerned, the two go hand in hand. Any child who cannot do long division by himself does not deserve to smoke.
I used to love to write. As a child I used to write all the time. I loved to write up until the second I got my first professional writing job. It turns out it's not that I hate to write. I hate, simply, to work.
Perhaps one of the more noteworthy trends of our time is the occupation of buildings accompanied by the taking of hostages. The perpetrators of these deeds are generally motivated by political grievance, social injustice, and the deeply felt desire to see how they look on TV.
The best fame is a writer's fame. It's enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough to get you interrupted when you eat.
Notoriously insensitive to subtle shifts in mood, children will persist in discussing the color of a recently sighted cement-mixer long after one's own interest in the topic has waned.
While clothes with pictures and or writing on them are not entirely an invention of the modern age, they are an unpleasant indication of the general state of things. ... I mean, be realistic. If people don't want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?
I have a double policy, which would also solve immigration: I would stand at the border of New York City and I would say, You can come here to live, but you can't come here to visit.
A woman's quest in life should be to find the perfect apartment. And I have found the perfect apartment. The perfect apartment is the first floor of the Metropolitan Museum. With a sofa.
I am a New Yorker. I like New York. And I like cities. And it's not my desire to make New York more suburban. I would personally just like to vet each person.
If, while watching the sun set on a used-car lot in Los Angeles, you are struck by the parallels between this image and the inevitable fate of humanity, do not, under any circumstances, write it down.
Money...buys privacy, silence. The less money you have, the noisier it is; the thinner your walls, the closer your neighbors.... The first thing you notice when you step into the house or apartment of a rich person is how quiet it is.
Take away a man's actual sense of manhood -- which is conventionally based on the ability to work, to earn money, to be self-sufficient, to provide for children -- and you've got to give them something else. And they did.
It's much easier to write a solemn book than a funny book. It's harder to make people laugh than it is to make them cry. People are always on the verge of tears.
Raisins are a thing that lasts, they come in small boxes, and you always feel like eating raisins, even at six in the morning. A raisin is always an appropriate snack.
Twenty-four-hour room service generally refers to the length of time that it takes for the club sandwich to arrive. This is indeeddisheartening, particularly when you've ordered scrambled eggs.
If you live in New York and you have a guest room, you have guests. So I think it's best not to have a guest room.
Do not have your child's hair cut by a real hairdresser in a real hairdressing salon. He is, at this point, far too short to be exposed to contempt.
If you are truly serious abut preparing your child for the future, don't teach him to subtract -- teach him to deduct.
Marriage entitles women to the protection of a strong man who will steady the stepladder while they paint the kitchen ceiling.
The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one's soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive -- you are leaking.
Violet will be a good color for hair at just about the same time that brunette becomes a good color for flowers.
Communists all seem to wear small caps, a look I consider better suited to tubes of toothpaste than to people.
When I was young, I liked romance. But to me, romance is the opposite of domestic life. I just don't want anyone in the apartment, not for longer than a few hours.
Contrary to what many of you may imagine, a career in letters is not without its drawbacks -- chief among them the unpleasant fact that one is frequently called upon to sit down and write.
Breakfast cereals that come in the same colors as polyester leisure suits make oversleeping a virtue.
And I thought, You know, Fran, you could go away and you could be in a very beautiful place with a cook, but then you'd have to be a good guest. I would much rather stay here and be a bad guest. And, believe me, I am being a bad guest.
White grapes are very attractive but when it comes to dessert people generally like cake with icing.
I have known...only one really, really good writer in my life who loves to write. Only one...Most people who love to write are horrible writers, so of course they love to write.
My favorite way to wake up is to have a certain French movie star whisper to me softly at two-thirty in the afternoon that if I want to get to Sweden in time to pick up my Nobel Prize for Literature, I had better ring for breakfast. This occurs rather less often than one might wish.
There is one thing that has disappeared, not just from the U.S. but from the entire world, is the idea of ever being embarrassed by anything.
There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness and death.
There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.
Women who insist upon having the same options as men would do well to consider the option of being the strong silent type.
Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.
To put it rather bluntly, I am not the type who wants to go back to the land; I am the type who wants to go back to the hotel.
You can't go around hoping that most people have sterling moral characters. The most you can hope for is that people will pretend that they do.
The conversational overachiever is someone whose grasp exceeds his reach. This is possible but not attractive.
I place a high moral value on the way people behave. I find it repellent to have a lot, and to behave with anything other than courtesy in the old sense of the word -- politeness of the heart, a gentleness of the spirit.
Designer clothes worn by children are like snowsuits worn by adults. Few can carry it off successfully.
Never relinquish clothing to a hotel valet without first specifically telling him that you want it back.
I never met anyone who didn't have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?
I never took hallucinogenic drugs because I never wanted my consciousness expanded one unnecessary iota.
Nature is by and large to be found out of doors, a location where, it cannot be argued, there are never enough comfortable chairs.
Do not, on a rainy day, ask your child what he feels like doing, because I assure you that what he feels like doing, you won't feel like watching.
Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not have possibly met.
Scientists -- the crowd that for dash and style make the general public look like the Bloomsbury set.
My desire to curtail undue freedom of speech extends only to such public areas as restaurants, airports, streets, hotel lobbies, parks, and department stores. Verbal exchanges between consenting adults in private are as of little interest to me as they probably are to them.
Quotes by Fran Lebowitz are featured in: