100 Great Ken Kesey Quotes That Help You Develop A Different Perspective
Novelist Kenneth Elton Kesey, fondly remembered as 'Ken' was an important link between 1950's Beat Generation and 1960's Hippie Culture. The world remembers him as a counter-cultural icon, novelist and essayist that ushered the American society into an era of psychedelic drugs. He compiled his personal experiences in his first novel 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest'. It was followed by more incredible works like 'Genesis West', 'Sometimes a Great Nation' and 'Demon Box' that captured his beautiful transformation from a revolutionary novelist to the founder of hippie generation. His book 'Cuckoo' was an account of abuses inflicted by the system on individuals. It was later enacted as a movie directed by Milos Forman. Though Kesey was not pleased with the idea, apparently the audience liked it. The movie became a hit in America, subsequently winning five Academy Awards. Kesey bonded with like-minded individuals to form "Merry Prankster", a group that helped promote liberal ideas. The group set out on a wild adventure, conducting Acid tests and treating unsuspecting viewers with The Warlock band's performances. He was put in jail for illegal possession of drugs. Following this, he spent a quite family life as an author and teacher until his death. We have collected his most famous quotes and thoughts from his most famous 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest' and other writings. Presenting a collection of some great Ken Kesey quotes about love, life, failure, success, humor, truth, and much more.
Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing. All I know is this: nobody's very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down. But it's the truth even if it didn't happen. You can't really be strong until you can see a funny side to things. He knows that you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. If you don't watch it people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite. To hell with facts! We need stories! That ain't me, that ain't my face. It wasn't even me when I was trying to be that face. I wasn't even really me them; I was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted. What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin'? Well you're not! You're not! You're no crazier than the average asshole out walkin' around on the streets and that's it. The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon They can't tell so much about you if you got your eyes closed. Plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. Rules? PISS ON YOUR FUCKING RULES! He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum No, my friend. We are lunatics from the hospital up the highway, psycho-ceramics, the cracked pots of mankind. Would you like me to decipher a Rorschach for you? Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'. What makes people so impatient is what I can't figure; all the guy had to do was wait. People think love is an emotion. Love is good sense. You had a choice: you could either strain and look at things that appeared in front of you in the fog, painful as it might be, or you could relax and lose yourself But he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no more’n he’ll let the humor blot out the pain. I don't think you fully understand the public, my friend; in this country, when something is out of order, then the quickest way to get it fixed is the best way. I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound. He's the sort of guy that gets a laugh out of people. He who walks out of step hears another drum. He knows that there's no better way in the world to aggravate somebody who's trying to make it hard for you than by acting like you're not bothered. To Vik Lovell who told me dragons did not exist, then led me to their lairs ... He knew you can't really be strong until you can see a funny side of things. We can count how many seeds are in the apple, but not how many apples are in the seed. The secret of being a top-notch con man is being able to know what the mark wants, and how to make him think he's getting it. People don't want other people to get high, because if you get high, you might see the falsity of the fabric of the society we live in. Of offering more than what I can deliver,
I have a bad habit, it is true.
But I have to offer more than I can deliver,
To be able to deliver what I do. I had to keep on acting deaf if i wanted to hear at all. You've got to get out
and pray to the sky
to appreciate the sunshine;
you're just a lizard
with the sun shining on you. Like a cartoon world, where the figures are flat and outlined in black, jerking through some kind of goofy story that might be real funny if it weren't for the cartoon figures being real guys... But I tried though," he says. "Goddammit, I sure as hell did that much, now, didn't I? More was revealed in a human face than a human being can bear face to face. The world news might not be therapeutic. I'd take a look at my own self in the mirror and wonder how it was possible that anybody could manage such an enormous thing as being what he was. Sometimes I looked at them and sometimes they looked at me, but rarely did we look at one another. The fundamentalists have taken the fun out of the mental. This world… belongs to the strong, my friend! The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak. Memory whispers someplace in that jumbled machinery. They wouldn't be so cocky if they knew what me and the moon have going. The man who seeks revenge digs two graves. To hell with that. A man goin' fishing with two whores from Portland don't have to take that crap. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. Take what you can use and let the rest go by. Ocean, Ocean I'll beat you in the end. Then the trembling starts to get worse. This must be how they begin, he thinks. Freak-outs. Breakdowns. Crack-ups. Eventually shut-ins and finally cross-offs. But first the cover-up . . . It's the truth, even if it didn't happen...
...if they don't exist, how can a man see them? You're making sense, old man, a sense of your own. You're not crazy the way they think. Yes...I see... There’s no doubt in my mind that McMurphy’s won, but I’m not sure what. I'd think, maybe he truly is something extraordinary. He's what he is, that's it. Maybe that makes him strong enough, being what he is. You're either on the bus or off the bus. What a Life: Give some of us pills to stop a fit, give the rest shock to start one. You get your visions through whatever gate you're granted. You seem to forget, Miss Flinn, that this is an institution for the insane. ...you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy It's fogging a little, but I won't slip off and hide in it. No...never again... Billy here has been talkin' about slicin' his wrists again, so is there seven of you guys who'd like to join him and make it therapeutic? He hadn't let what he looked like run his life one way or the other, any more than he'd let the Combine mill him into fitting where they wanted him to fit. Because sometimes the only way to keep from losing everything is to give everything up. Because sometimes strength must for the sake of winning give in to-- Man is certain of nothing but his ability to fail. It is the deepest faith we have, and the unbeliever- the blasphemer, the dissenter- will stimulate in us the most righteous of furies. It's the truth, even if it didn't happen. He couldn't seem to get his teeth into anything. Except books. The things in books was darn near more real to him than the things breathing and eating. The best of all possible cages.' Ben stepped back to regard the job with a sad smile. 'What more can one ask? I don't seem able to get it straight in my mind.... They're out there...One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest In any given situation there will always be more dumb people than smart people. We ain't many! When I die pin me up against the sky. Always stay in your own movie. One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo's nest. Society is what decides who's sane and who isn't, so you got to measure up. Does the Spearmint lose its flavor on the bedpost over night? They are in contact on a high-voltage wavelength of hate... The trouble with superheroes is what to do between phone booths. The game goes round and round, to the rattle of dice and the shuffle of play money. I was actually going out of the hospital with two whores on a fishing boat; I had to keep saying it over and over to myself to believe it. But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen. . . .sometimes reading the same page over and over, until one sleepy afternoon something clicked, like a lock unlocking, and she saw those printed doors swing open on a vast house of words. But I remember one thing: it wasn't me that started acting deaf, it was people that first started acting like I was too dumb to hear or see or say anything at all. They're out there. First line of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He’s got hands so long and white and dainty I think they carved each other out of soap. I want to touch him because I'm one of these queers! ...you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep in balance." [Chief Bromden] Good writing ain't necessarily good reading. You can make a mark across the night with the tip of an embered stick, and you can actually see it fixed in its finity. You can be absolutely sure of its treacherous impermanence. And that is all. He's what he is, that's it. Maybe that makes him strong enough, being what he is. We are the culture. All those people that are doing those dumb TV things and promoting hate…that’s the ‘counter’culture. Man is certain of nothing but his ability to fail McMurphy tied a chunk of meat to each end of a four-foot string, tossed it into the air, and sent two squawking birds wheeling off, "Till death do them part.
What a cheery atmosphere, don't you agree?
I'd give something to see that. Mostly, I'd just to look over the country around the gorge again, just to bring some of it clear in my mind again.
I been away a long time.
I will be a sonofabitch if he ain't in here at eleven-thirty at night, fartin' around in the dark with a pair of scissors and a paper sack.
Ah, ah, ahhh ... first one gets mad, then one goes mad
I forget sometimes what laughter can do.
He's safe as long as he can laugh, he thinks, and it works pretty fair. They’re out there. Black boys in white suits up before me to commit sex acts in the hall and get it mopped up before I can catch them.