The Twitter stream is filled with lots of silliness, which isn’t surprising. One of the things that I find to be the most silly is the steady dose of supposedly-inspirational quotes that many people throw up there. The great majority of them are aren’t remotely clever or interesting or original. They’re hackneyed phrases that are banal at best.

Some real examples grabbed from the stream:

“Nothing’s more fun than doing what people say you can’t do!”

“Live in the moment. Forget the past and don’t concern yourself with the future.”

“If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”

“Worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have.”

“Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.”

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.”

See what I mean?

So I went on a mission a while back to try to expose just how banal they are. One of my more successful efforts was to add “and shit” to the end of traditional quotations. E.g., “Religion is the opiate of the masses, and shit.”

In no way did this motivate people to stop and think about the banality of what they were doing in posting quotes, but it was a lot of fun.

So I’ve put together a partial list of the “and shit” quotes that I posted on Twitter. They’re not in any particular order, and some are obviously more successful than others (that is, they’re funnier).

What I discovered was that the more noble-sounding the language and the sentiment, the greater the contrast with the “and shit,” and so the funnier is the addition. Also, the shorter sayings typically work better. Plus, the best are when the “and shit” can be part of the reference. E.g., Leibniz’s quote that “The present is big with the future, and shit.”Is Leibniz saying that the present is big with both the future and with shit?!

(FYI, I always add a comma before the “and shit” to mark the end of the actual quote, whether that comma is  needed or not.)


The “And Shit” Quotes

“I can resist everything except temptation, and shit.” (Oscar Wilde) #AndShit.

“My tastes are simple: I’m easily satisfied with the best, and shit.” (Churchill) #AndShit.

“Do anything, but let it produce joy, and shit.” (Walt Whitman) #AndShit.

“Life is nothing without friendship, and shit.” (Cicero) #AndShit.

“All cruelty springs from weakness, and shit.” (Seneca) #AndShit.


Immanuel Kant:

“Two things inspire me to awe: the starry heavens above and the moral universe within, and shit.” 


“Silence is a source of Great Strength, and shit.” (Lau Tzu) #AndShit.

“Man’s loneliness is but his fear of life, and shit.” (Eugene O’Neill) #AndShit.

“Laughter is the language of the soul, and shit.” (Pablo Neruda) #AndShit.

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains, and shit.” (Rousseau) #AndShit.

“Wonder is the desire of knowledge, and shit.” (Aquinas) #AndShit.

“I quote others only to better express myself, and shit.” (Michel de Montaigne) #AndShit.

“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education, and shit.” (Bertrand Russell) #AndShit.

“Patience is the companion of wisdom, and shit.” (Augustine) #AndShit.

“The present is big with the future, and shit.” (Leibniz) #AndShit.

“Anticipate charity by preventing poverty, and shit.” (Maimonides) #AndShit.


Henry David Thoreau:

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, and shit.” 


“As far as possible, join faith to reason, and shit.” (Boethius) #AndShit.

“To understand is to perceive patterns, and shit.” (Isaiah Berlin) #AndShit.

“Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe, and shit.” (Galileo) #AndShit.

“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write, and shit.” (John Adams) #AndShit.

“Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, and shit.” (John Stuart Mill) #AndShit.

“Leisure is the mother of Philosophy, and shit.” (Thomas Hobbes) #AndShit.

“Wonder is the seed of knowledge, and shit.” (Francis Bacon) #AndShit.

“Every law is an infraction of liberty, and shit.” (Jeremy Bentham) #AndShit.


Niccolo Machiavelli:

“Never was anything great achieved without danger, and shit.” 


“The world is knowable, harmonious, and good, and shit.” (Plotinus) #AndShit.

“People do not lack strength, they lack will, and shit.” (Victor Hugo) #AndShit.

“If triangles made a god, they would give him three sides, and shit.” (Montesquieu) #AndShit.

“Viewed from a distance, everything is beautiful, and shit.” (Tacitus) #AndShit.

“The secret to success is constancy of purpose, and shit.” (Benjamin Disraeli) #AndShit.

“Adversity is the first path to truth, and shit.” (Lord Byron) #AndShit.

“Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness, and shit.” (Santayana) #AndShit.

“The destiny of man is in his own soul, and shit.” (Herodotus) #AndShit.

“All universal moral principles are idle fancies, and shit.” (de Sade) #AndShit.

“The seed of revolution is repression, and shit.” (Woodrow Wilson) #AndShit.


Thomas Edison:

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk, and shit.” 


“Sometimes history needs a push, and shit.” (Lenin) #AndShit.

“What is now proved was once only imagined, and shit.” (William Blake) #AndShit.

“Silence does not always mark wisdom, and shit.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge) #AndShit.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food, and shit.” (Hippocrates) #AndShit.


Robert E. Lee:

“Obedience to lawful authority is the foundation of manly character, and shit.” 


“Everything existing in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity, and shit.” (Democritus) #AndShit.

“Man is the measure of all things, and shit.” (Protagoras) #AndShit.

“All life is problem solving, and shit.” (Karl Popper) #AndShit.

“The work of memory collapses time, and shit.” (Walter Benjamin) #AndShit.

“The only thing constant in life is change, and shit.” (La Rochefoucauld) #AndShit.

“I write to discover what I know, and shit.” (Flannery O’Connor)


Diogenes Laertius:

“One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings, and shit.” 



4 thoughts on “Inspirational Quotes and Shit

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