I don't watch TV. I think it destroys the art of talking about oneself.
All the big words -virtue, justice, truth, ...- are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness
This is the point. One technology doesn't replace another, it complements. Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.
Philosophy is an odd thing... There is no particular Socratic or Dimechian or Kantian way to live your life. They don't offer ethical codes and standards by which to live your life.
As I go clowning my sentimental way into eternity, wrestling with all my problems of estrangement and communion, sincerity and simulation, ambition and acquiescence, I shuttle between worrying whether I matter at all and whether anything else matters but me.
I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian 'correctively' raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
I'd probably want to teach at university, because children would drive me insane. I suspect it would be English literature, Shakespeare and so forth. I've always been deeply, deeply in love with that kind of thing.
I believe in kindness and niceness and lots of spiritual things, but the real intellectual rigor and quest of logic is something that I'm afraid takes incredibly hard work and we live in an age in which hard work is if not actively deprecated or denigrated it is run away from or ignored.
I don't need you to remind me of my age. I have a bladder to do that for me.
It's hard to be a friend to someone who's depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
It is the useless things that make life worth living and that make life dangerous too: wine, love, art, beauty. Without them life is safe, but not worth bothering with.
You can't just say there is a God because well, the world is beautiful. You have to account for bone cancer in children. You have to account for the fact that almost all animals in the wild live under stress with not enough to eat and will die violent and bloody deaths. There is not any way that you can just choose the nice bits and say that means there is a God and ignore the true fact of what nature is.
There comes a time when the blankness of the future is just so extreme, it's like such a black wall of nothingness. Not of bad things like a cave full of monsters and so, you're afraid of entering it. It's just nothingness, the void, emptiness and it is just horrible. It's like contemplating a future-less future and so you just want to step out of it. The monstrosity of being alive overwhelms you.
People who can change and change again are so much more reliable and happier than those who can't
Wine can be a better teacher than ink, and banter is often better than books
It's not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing-they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
Love in all eight tones and all five semitones of the word's full octave.
You are who you are when nobody's watching.
Not one word of the following is true
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will always hurt me. Bones mend and become actually stronger in the very place they were broken and where they have knitted up; mental wounds can grind and ooze for decades and be re-opened by the quietest whisper.
The point about manic depression or bipolar disorder, as it's now more commonly called, is that it's about mood swings. So, you have an elevated mood. When people think of manic depression, they only hear the word depression. They think one's a depressive. The point is, one's a manic-depressive.
As humourless a lump of dough as ever held a torchlight vigil outside the South African Embassy or stuck an AIDS awareness ribbon on an unwilling first-nighter.
My secret is that I have never thought there is a secret to anything in life. Passion. Love. Drive. Work. Work. Work. Dull but true.
We always make the mistake, the fatal mistake in the case of military people, of imagining that each war will be a kind of version of the one that happened previously.
I certainly don't want to be formulaic. I want to be honest and authentic and everything else.
The Gay News critic wrote that I 'carried the lilt of the Irish without the brogue'.
The most natural way you would attempt to cope with something inside you that is affecting your moods and your energy levels is to intervene with chemicals to help and because medical science hasn't come up with pharmaceuticals that do particularly well you tend to reach for the chemicals that are outside the Pharma counter, i.e. narcotics and alcohol because they can guarantee your mood more or less.
I think we have all experienced passion that is not in any sense reasonable.
Seriousness is no more a guarantee of truth, insight, authenticity or probity, than humour is a guarantee of superficiality and stupidity.
I almost once wanted to publish a self help book saying, 'How To Be Happy, by Stephen Fry: Guaranteed Success'. And people buy this huge book and it's all blank pages, and the first page would just say, 'Stop feeling sorry for yourself-and you will be happy.'
I don't watch television, I think it destroys the art of talking about oneself.
Old Professors never die, they just lose their faculties.
Having a great intellect is no path to being happy.
It is a cliche that most cliches are true, but then like most cliches, that cliche is untrue.
We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing - an actor, a writer - I am a person who does things - I write, I act - and I never know what I'm going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.
Compromise is a stalling between two fools.
If I had a large amount of money I should certainly found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases and yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.
One of the traps of adolescence is the sort of paranoid resentment that somehow you're never going to match up and that everybody else's life is going to be better and finer and fuller. That everyone else attended some secret lesson in which how to live was taught and you had a dental appointment that day, or you were somehow not invited. And the point of great writers like Wilde is that they make that invitation to you.
Hold the newsreader's nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers
Hell, I am young. I am free. My teeth are clean. The sun shines. To hell with everything else