June 19, 2016

“What does not kill me makes me stronger” – from Nietzsche and The Donald to Miley and Conan…


“What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
(“Was mich nicht umbringt macht mich stärker.”)
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
       German philosopher and poet
       In the “Maxims and Arrows”
section of his book Twilight of the Idols (1888)
       This famous line by Nietzsche has been translated and paraphrased in various ways, often with Whatever or That which in place of the word What, doesn’t instead of does not, and destroy or some other verb in place of kill. Nietzsche used a similar line in Ecce Homo (written 1888, published 1908), the last book he wrote before going completely insane. In the chapter of Ecce Homo titled
“Why I Am So Wise,” he wrote that a person who has “turned out well” could be recognized by certain attributes, such as a knack for exploiting bad accidents to his advantage. Regarding such a man, Nietzsche said: “What does not kill him makes him stronger.” (“Was ihn nicht umbringt, macht ihn stärker.”)

trump-cartoon playing the media


“What doesn’t kill Trump makes him stronger. And louder.”
       Sarah Rense
       Assistant Editor at Esquire magazine
       In a post about FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly's feud with Donald Trump on the Esquire.com website. (Cartoon by Tom Stiglich, TomStiglich.com.)


“In our celebrity-obsessed culture, whatever outrageous act doesn’t manage to kill a celebrity’s career simply makes them a bigger celebrity.” 
       Comment posted by “JohnnyYuma” on the ABC News story about Miley Cyrus and her “twerking” performance on the August 2013 MTV Video Music Awards show


“You ask anybody what their number one fear is and it’s public humiliation. Multiply that on a global scale and that’s what I've been through. It changes you and makes you one tough motherf**ker. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s really that simple.”
Mel Gibson 
       In a
January 2010 interview in The Telegraph 
       Commenting on what he learned after the publicity flap over his 2006 arrest for DUI and the anti-Semitic remarks he made to the cops who arrested him. Mel told The Telegraph the incident had a positive effect on his life and he had learned from his mistakes. The interview came out before his highly-publicized, ranting attacks on his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, which made Mel even stronger (and even less marketable as an actor).


“I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you stranger.”
Heath Ledger, as the Batman villain The Joker, in the movie The Dark Knight (2008)


“quod me nutrit
  me destruit.”
Latin saying tattooed on Angelina Jolie’s lower abdomen
       In English, it means “What nourishes me also destroys me.”


“Whatever hurts you makes me stronger.”  
Leslie Stefanson, as the character Capt.
Elisabeth Campbell, in the movie The General’s Daughter (1999)


“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
       Quote shown at the beginning of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie
Conan the Barbarian (1982) and also used as a quip by Clairee Belcher (actress Olympia Dukakis) in the movie Steel Magnolias (1989).

Here’s a link to another Quote/Counterquote post with variations on Nietzsche’s famous maxim.

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June 6, 2016

Faith, hope & charity – from the Bible, to American politics, to Dale Evans & Roy Rogers...

Saint Paul the Apostle


“And now abideth faith, hope, charity these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
        Saint Paul (c. 5 A.D. - c. 67 A.D.)
        I Corinthians 13:13 (i.e., Chapter 13, Verse 13)
        I Corinthians, usually referred to as First Corinthians or the First Epistle to the Corinthians is a book in the Bible based on a letter written around 53 A.D. by Paul, an Apostle of Jesus (though not one of the first twelve). Much of the letter provides stern guidance to the congregation of Christians Paul established in Corinth, Greece. He’d heard they were violating some of the rules for followers of the new Christian faith that he helped create. So in his letter, he warned them about various sinful things, such as getting drunk, fornicating (which he mentions many times) and allowing women to go around without covering their head (a strange rule that Muslims and early Christians had in common).
       One of the less Puritanical and more inspiring parts of I Corinthians comes in Book 13. In that, Paul discusses the importance of being charitable. It ends with the line that includes the familiar triumvirate “faith, hope, charity” – of which, Paul says, the greatest is charity. 
       This line is preceded by two that include other famous Bible quotes about putting away childish things (Chap. 13, Verse 11) and seeing through a glass darkly (Chap. 13, Verse 12):
       When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
       For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
       And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 27, 1936 speech


“We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift from every recess of American life the dread fear of the unemployed that they are not needed in the world...In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity.”
       Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
       American Democratic politician elected to serve three terms as President of the United States
       In his acceptance speech after receiving the Democratic nomination for his second term as president, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 27, 1936.

Barry Goldwater autobiography 1988


“Freedom has been the watchword of my political life...I believe in faith, hope, and charity. But none of these is possible without freedom.”
       Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)
       Republican politician who served U.S. Senator from Arizona for many years and was the Republican Party's nominee for President in 1964 
       The quote is from his autobiography Goldwater, first published in 1988



“America's greatness and variety, its perpetual newness and variety, its bedrock of faith, hope and charity is all too easy to forget. Yet it is always there, rising above the cloud banks of cheap and easy rhetoric like the Rockies above the fruited plain.”
       Paul Greenberg
       Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator
       Commenting on the uniquely bizarre 2016 presidential campaign in an editorial originally published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 27, 2016

George Orwell at typewriter


“Now abideth faith, hope, money; but the greatest of these is money.”
       George Orwell (1903-1950)
       English novelist, essayist and journalist
       One of his lines from the epigraph he wrote that appears at the beginning of his novel Keep The Aspidistra Flying (1936)

Dale Evans DC Comics cover


“Have faith, hope and charity
That's the way to live successfully
How do I know, the Bible tells me so.”

       Dale Evans (1912-2001)
       Lyrics from the song “The Bible Tells Me So”
       Words and music by Dale Evans
       Evans wrote the song to perform with her husband Roy Rogers on The Roy Rogers Show. They sang it as a duet in the episode “Ginger Horse,” which originally aired on March 27, 1955. That year it was recorded and further popularized by singer Nick Noble and bandleader Don Cornell. It eventually became one of Dale’s signature songs.

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May 27, 2016

“Children of the night. What music they make!”

Dracula 1931 Bela Lugosi - children of the night WM


“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!” [1924 novel]
“Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make!” [1931 movie]
       One of his most famous lines in the novel by Bram Stoker and the popular Universal Studios movie adaptation 
       In Stoker’s novel and the 1931 film Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, the title character says the “children of the night” lines about the wolves howling outside his castle in Transylvania. The book and movie versions of the quotation are almost identical, with the exception of the word the in front of children in the book.
       Dracula says the lines to Jonathan Harker, a British legal solicitor who is sent to Dracula’s home to facilitate the Count’s purchase of a property in England. The quote comes early in the book (in Chapter 2) and in the movie, as do two other famous quotes that are well known to Dracula fans.
       As Harker enters the Count’s spooky castle, Dracula greets him with the words: “I am Dracula, and I bid you welcome.” In the 1931 movie, this is broken into two lines, separated by a comment by Harker.
       In the movie, as Dracula is standing on the huge stone stairway after welcoming Harker, they hear the wolves howling and Lugosi speaks the famous “children of the night” lines. Shortly thereafter, in the next scene, Dracula serves some food to Harker, then pours him a glass of “very old wine.”
       “Aren’t you drinking?” asks Harker. Lugosi, smiling, says a third line immortalized by the movie: “I never drink – wine.”
       This chuckleworthy nod to the fact that Dracula survives solely by drinking human blood is not in the novel. In that, as Harker is preparing to eat, Dracula apologizes for not joining him, saying: “I have dined already, and I do not sup.” He does offer Harker some “very old tokay wine.” But he says nothing about never drinking wine himself.

Love at First Bite - shut up quote WM


“Children of the night – shut up!”
       Actor George Hamilton as Dracula, in the comedy movie Love at First Bite (1979)
       Hamilton says the line in the opening of the movie as he’s playing the piano and the howling of wolves interrupts and annoys him.

Dead and Loving It - children of the night mess quote WM

“Children of the night. What a mess they make.”
       Actor Leslie Nielsen, as Dracula, in Dead and Loving It (1995)
       In this campy version, Nielsen says the line after pointing to some bats flying above him as he stands on the stone stairway of his castle. The camera briefly shows a dollop of bat poop on one of the stone steps. Then we see Nielsen’s shoe step on the poo, causing him to slip and fall down the stairs.

Twilight sucks - Robert Pattinson


“Fame has bitten Robert Pattinson...His mere arrival at a promotional autograph session is enough to set off a sonic frenzy of squeals and shrieks. Tweens, teens and Twilight moms scream en masse with pent-up desire and devotion, delighted to just gaze upon their idol in the flesh. Listen to them. Children of the night. What a racket they make.”
       Susan Wloszczyna
       American movie reviewer
       In an article about Pattinson in USA TODAY published in 2008, at a time when the first movie in the Twilight series was suddenly making him a huge celebrity – at least among teenage movie fans.
       Pattinson has suggested he’s not personally a fan of the movies that made him world famous. In one interview, when asked what his view of the series might be if he weren't in it, he responded: “I would just mindlessly hate it.”

Dracula 3D graphic


“The entertainment value in Argento’s sad, befuddled decline wears thin before long; after that it’s just boring. It isn’t until the 70-minute mark that the promise of the opening credits – ‘and Rutger Hauer as Van Helsing’ – is fulfilled, and by then it’s too late for anything to salvage the wreck. Listen to the children of the night! What garbage they make.”
       Eric D. Snider
       American movie reviewer
       In his review of Dario Argento’s movie Dracula 3D, posted on Movies.com site on May 20, 2012 

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May 7, 2016

“Crime does not pay” — and (hopefully) slime won’t either…


“Crime does not pay.”
       Proverbial saying popularized in the 1930s
Some sources say “Crime does not pay” was coined by Chester Gould, creator of the Dick Tracy comic strip, which debuted in 1931. In fact, although its high-profile use as Tracy’s motto certainly helped popularize the saying, Gould didn’t coin it. Nor did the old time radio show The Shadow, which started airing in 1930 and ended episodes with the famous lines: “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay!”
       If you search historic news archives, you’ll find many uses of “crime does not pay” in news stories prior to the 1930s. The earliest examples I found were from the 1880s and I suspect it was probably already proverbial before that. However, it does seem that this cautionary proverb became more widely used as a cultural catchphrase in the 1930s. In addition to being featured in Dick Tracy and The Shadow, “Crime Does Not Pay” was the title of a series of short-subject films and a spinoff radio show that were popular in the mid- to late-1930s.

Trump slime cartoon rev 


“Slime does not pay...It’s wrong and it’s gross.”
       The Tick
       Comic cartoon superhero created by cartoonist Ben Edlund      
       An observation made by The Tick in Season 2 Episode 1 of the animated series (“The Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love”)
       (Cartoon by Bill Day.)


“You been reading a lot of stuff about ‘Crime don’t pay.’ Don’t be a sucker! That’s for yaps and small-timers on shoestrings. Not for people like us. You belong in the big-shot class. Both of us do.” 
       James Cagney, as gangster Rocky Sullivan
       Lines spoken to actress Ann Sheridan in the 1938 film
Angels With Dirty Faces


“They say that crime doesn’t pay, but it’s a living, you know. Oh, yes, it’s a living...If it wasn’t for crime, the democratic process would grind to a halt.”  
Leo McKern, in his role as the irascible British barrister Horace Rumpole
       In the
“Play for Today” episode of the BBC television series Rumpole of the Bailey (first aired December 16, 1975)


“Crime does not pay – enough.”
       Motto of the
Mystery Writers of America association since it’s founding in 1945
       Credit for the motto is generally given to American mystery writer, editor and amateur magician
Clayton Rawson (1906-1971), one of the four founding members of the organization. (The others were novelists Anthony Boucher, Lawrence Treat, and Brett Halliday.) The Mystery Writers of America is the group that presents the Edgar Awards in various categories of mystery writing each year (named in honor of Edgar Allan Poe).


“If you’re young and tattooed, crime does pay.”  
       Kenneth Partridge 
       New York-based music journalist and critic
       His summation of the moral of the story told in the music video for Britney Spears’ 2011 song “Criminal,” in one of his posts on the now defunct AOL Music blog.
       The video features Spears and her heavily-tattooed boyfriend at the time, Jason Trawick, playing what Britney described as “a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde.” After robbing an unlucky small grocery store owner at gunpoint (with Britney brandishing the gun) they return to their hideaway to take a shower that’s steamy in more ways than one. Suddenly, the local coppers surround the place and shred the walls with machine guns. But, unlike the real Bonnie and Clyde, the amorous young thieves in the video manage to survive the hail of bullets and escape.
       Who says crimes against logic (and music and acting) don’t pay?

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April 28, 2016

“A week is a long time in politics.” (Especially for voters!)

Harold Wilson week in politics quote 1960s


“A week is a long time in politics.”
       Harold Wilson
       British Labour Party politician; Prime Minister 1964-970 & 1974-1976
       A political saying widely credited to Wilson
       Like any savvy politician, Wilson was willing to take credit for this oft-cited and still oft-used saying when credit was given to him. However, it’s not clear whether he actually used the line before reporters and quotation researchers began asking him when he first used it.
       The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs says “no record of him using it can be found from earlier than 1968, and Wilson himself is on record saying he cannot remember when he first uttered it.” In his book Sayings of the Century, quote maven Nigel Rees speculates that “the phrase was probably first uttered at a meeting between Wilson and the Parliamentary lobby in the wake of the Sterling crisis shortly after he first took office as Prime Minister in 1964. However, Robert Carvel...recalled Wilson at a Labour Party conference in 1960 saying ‘Forty-eight hours is a long time in politics.’” At any rate, after people began attributing “A week is a long time in politics” to Wilson, he seems to have accepted the attribution and used the saying on a number of subsequent occasions.

       It has come to be used most frequently as a comment on the rapid changes that can occur in voter attitudes toward candidates during the course of political campaigns.


“A week is not a long time in politics; much more stays the same than changes. People do not vote for hope and vision, but for the lesser evil. And nobody really minds a divided party. Division, managed properly, can convey vitality while draining opponents of a reason to exist.” 
       John Rentoul 
      Chief Political Commentator for the UK newspaper The Independent 
      In his column in the October 20, 2015 issue of The Independent

Joseph Chamberlain


“In politics, there is no use looking beyond the next fortnight.” 
       Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914) 
      British Liberal politician 
      According to A.J. Balfour, the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, Chamberlain made this remark to him in a conversation in 1886. 
      Cited in a letter Balfour wrote on March 24, 1886, reprinted in his book Chapters of Autobiography (published in 1930).

term limits button


“The weak are a long time in politics.”
       Neil Shand
       British journalist and writer for BBC comedy shows 
       A quip Shand made that could apply to a long list of career politicians. 
       Shand said it about the long-serving British Conservative politician John Gummer. (Cited in the book Political Wit: Quips and Quotes from the Back Benches and Beyond.)

Kid addicted to TV


“Two hours is a long time in a child's day, and when you add the two to three hours that American children typically spend watching TV, you can see that at an ever younger age, children are losing the opportunity to experience the joys and benefits of traditional play.”
         Dr. Lawrence E. Shapiro
and Robin K. Sprague
       An observation in their book The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook for Kids

CBS News anchor Dan Rather got "scooped" on his second to last day as anchor of the CBS EVENING NEWS.  Ben and Jerry's created a new flavor called "A Farewell Scoop" as a tribute to the newsman's numerous news scoops during his 24-year career as anchor of the CBS EVENING NEWS.  The Vermont ice cream company sent their newest flavor to the Broadcast Center in NYC.  "We thought it fitting for a newsman whose fed us so much information over the years," Ben and Jerry wrote on the label.  "May your ice cream bowl always runneth over." Cr: John P. Filo/CBS copyright 2005 CBS Broadcasting Inc. all rights reserved


“Overnight is a long time in politics; a week is forever.”
       Dan Rather
       American TV journalist
       According to a post on quotation expert Barry Popik’s “Big Apple” website, Rather began using this saying and variations of it in the 1980s and has repeated it many times since.

Trump Cagle cartoon - Full disclosure


“A week seems like an even longer long time in politics this year, thanks to the 24-hour news coverage, Facebook posting and Tweeting about every mind-numbing absurdity of the 2016 presidential campaign.”
       Robert Deis
       Editor of QuoteCounterquote.com and ThisDayinQuotes.com
       (Cartoon by R.J. Matson via Cagle.com)

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