A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 11, 2015
“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it”

"You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it” was written by American novelist, poet and environmental activist Wendell Berry in notes from March 14, 1969. The quotation has been frequently cited.


Wikipedia: Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry (born August 5, 1934) is an American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. A prolific author, he has written dozens of novels, short stories, poems, and essays. He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berry was named the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.

Google Books
Lillabulero
Volumes 10-14
1971
Pg. 11:
You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.

Google Books
A Continuous Harmony:
Essays Cultural and Agricultural

By Wendell Berry
New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
1972
Pg. 41 ("Notes from an Absence and a Return"):
March 14 (1969—ed.)
The relief of mountains and deserts after the overpopulated, overmechanized regions. The oppression of driving mile after mile under a veil of poison. Now it is only in the wild places that a man can sense the rarity of being a man. In the crowded places he is more and more closed in by the feeling that he is ordinary—and that he is, on the average, expendable.

You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.

Urbanfoodguy
“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” ― Wendell Berry
Posted on April 25, 2012 by urbanfoodguy
If you haven’t already it, then you must read Mark Bittman’s interview with Wendell Berry in the New York Times today.

Below is the very end of the article, a delayed response to Bittman’s question: What can city people do? (to change the industrialized nature of our food system).

Twitter
Second Life Spanish
‏@wilsonvoight
“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” ~ Wendell Berry
9:24 AM - 25 Nov 2014

Twitter
Theresa Reed
‏@thetarotlady
“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”
― Wendell Berry #quotes
7:56 AM - 5 Mar 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, March 11, 2015 • Permalink