While alive, Terry Pratchett was a singular gift to the world. Even after he died, over two years ago, on 12th March 2015, he remains just that, with his words and his ideals continuing to resonate throughout the collective consciousness. The phrase ‘one of a kind’ is often bandied about, but Pratchett really was exactly that. His humor, his humanism, his skill with words; it all added up to this wonderful attitude to the insanity that is life, the prism through which he viewed things and reported back on them acting almost as a guide for millions of people.
Yesterday, some words of his bubbled back to me, unbidden, as they have a wont to do, and they made me both sad and happy at the same time:
“They were indeed what was known as ‘old money’, which meant that it had been made so long ago that the black deeds which had originally filled the coffers were now historically irrelevant. Funny, that: a brigand for a father was something you kept quiet about, but a slave-taking pirate for a great-great-great-grandfather was something to boast of over the port. Time turned the evil bastards into rogues, and rogue was a word with a twinkle in its eye and nothing to be ashamed of.”― Making Money
Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.― Jingo
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.― The Last Continent
In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.― Lords and Ladies
She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don’t apply to you.— Equal Rites
If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.― Lords and Ladies
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.— Monstrous Regiment
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness
Do you think it’s possible for an entire nation to be insane?― Monstrous Regiment
“The female mind is certainly a devious one, my lord.” Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise. “Well, of course it is. It has to deal with the male one.”― Unseen Academicals
All tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums.― Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.― Jingo
“It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.”
- Terry Pratchett