February 26, 2010

The Emperor has: (a) no clothes (b) no brains (c) no birth certificate, or (d) no clue…


FAMOUS QUOTE:

“The Emperor has no clothes!”
       Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
       The Emperor's New Clothes (1835)   
       The famed paraphrase of what the little boy in the story says upon seeing the naked Emperor walking down the street. It has also been translated as “But he has nothing on!” or “But the Emperor is naked!”


ANTI-BUSH VARIATION:

“The Emperor Has No Brains.” 
       Bush-bashing bumper sticker on cafepress.com


ANTI-OBAMA VARIATION:

“The emperor has no birth certificate.”
       Joseph Farah
       Anti-Obama blogger and “Birther” 
       In his online column “Between the Lines” on August 5, 2009


FAMOUS CARTOONIST QUOTE:

“I’ve often summed up the role of the cartoonist as that of the boy in the Hans Christian Andersen story who says the emperor has no clothes on. And that seemed to be just what was called for during this phase of the ‘imperial presidency.’”
       Herbert Block
       The political cartoonist known as “Herblock” 
       From the Herblock’s History website


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.

February 22, 2010

Workers of the world, unite! (Fat people, women and zombies, too.)


FAMOUS ANTI-CAPITALISM QUOTE:

“Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!”
       Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels 
      
The Communist Manifesto (1848)
       The usual paraphrase of the final words of the Manifesto

(NOTE: A more complete and accurate translation of the closing sentences of the Communist Manifesto is: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”)


ANTI-FATISM QUOTE:

“Fat people of the world unite! You have nothing to lose.”
       Final words of
“The Fat Liberation Manifesto”
       A manifesto for people fighting against prejudice toward fat people


ANTI-SEXISM QUOTE:

“Some people think I’m saying, ‘Women of the world unite — you have nothing to lose but your men.’ It’s not true. You have nothing to lose but your vacuum cleaners.”
       Pioneering feminist
Betty Friedan
       In an interview in LIFE magazine, November 1, 1963


ANTI-ZOMBIE ABUSE QUOTE:

“Zombies of the world, unite — you have nothing to lose but your chains!”
       The Weekly World News tabloid, July 29, 2003  
       In an article about a labor strike by zombie slaves, who were demanding “higher wages and shorter hours.”

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Comments? Corrections? Post them on the Famous Quotations Facebook page.

Related reading…

February 19, 2010

Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short…


FAMOUS OLD NASTY QUOTE:

“No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
       British philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)
       His famous description of life in pre-industrial societies 
       Leviathan (1651)


NASTY MODERN LIFE QUOTE:

“Life under modernized conditions and under conditions moving in that direction is not likely to become solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. It is far more likely to become crowded, affluent, nasty, brutish, and long.”
       Marion Joseph Levy
       Modernization and the Structure of Societies (1996)


NASTY MURDER QUOTE:

“Crime reporters look back to the murders of the fifties with profound nostalgia, an attitude captured in one reporter’s words: ‘Murder is not what it used to be…It is much more violent and quicker now — stabbing, shooting. Poisoning has almost disappeared.’”
       Steve Chibnall
       Law and Order News: Crime Reporting in the British Press (1977)


NASTY SINGLE MEN QUOTE:

“Surveying the erosion of 1950s family patterns at the beginning of the 1970s, economist George Gilder warned that the decline in marriage rates threatened the stability of Western civilization: The single man ‘is disposed to criminality, drugs and violence. He is irresponsible about his debts, alcoholic, accident prone, and venereally diseased. Unless he can marry, he is often destined to a Hobbesian life — solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.’”
       Stephanie Coontz
      The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (2000)


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.

February 11, 2010

An honest politician is what?

The famous quote “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought” has long been attributed to the American politician and businessman Simon Cameron (1799-1889).

Quotation experts like Ralph Keyes doubt that Cameron actually said it. But it has spawned many humorous counterquotes over the years.

Here’s a new QuoteCounterquote.com video that features some of my favorites…

February 9, 2010

More quotes and quips about things that abhor vacuums…


FAMOUS LATIN PROVERB:

“Natura abhorret vacuum.” (“Nature abhors a vacuum.”)
       Latin proverb


VACANT MINDS COUNTERQUOTE:

“Whatever philosophy may determine of material nature, it is certainly true of intellectual nature, that it abhors a vacuum: our minds cannot be empty; and evil will break in upon them, if they are not preoccupied by good.”
       Samuel Johnson
       Letter to James Boswell, June 20, 1771


VACANT SPACE COUNTERQUOTE:

“Advertising abhors a vacuum. We see ads posted now where they never went before: on toll booth plazas, on grocery receipts — even in bathroom stalls.”
       Thomas H. Davenport & John C. Beck
       The Attention Economy (2002)


PROHIBITION COUNTERQUOTE:

“Drinking abhors a vacuum. If there were no saloon, another drinking place would be found.”
       Andrew Sinclair
       Prohibition, the Era of Excess (1962)


SEXUAL PROHIBITION COUNTERQUOTE:

“The greater the difference between the sort of sex people wanted and the sort that was  socially sanctioned, the more business thrived...Economics abhors a vacuum, and the whore class — which over time grew to include strippers, peep-show girls, telephone talkers, rub-and-tuggers, porn stars, streetwalkers, call girls, escorts, models, showgirls, pro-doms, pro-subs, and many, many more — rushed in to fill the chasm between men’s actual desires and the social structure that they, with women, had built.”
       Elisabeth Eaves
       Bare: The Naked Truth About Stripping (2004)


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.

February 7, 2010

“Every man a king…”


FAMOUS POLITICAL QUOTE:

“Every man a king but no man wears a crown.”
       Huey P. Long (1893-1935)
       Louisiana populist politician
       His campaign slogan from 1928 until his assassination in 1935


MUSICAL COUNTERQUOTE:

“I’m a cracker
And you are too
But don’t I take good care of you?
...Here comes the Kingfish, the Kingfish
Everybody sing
Here’s the Kingfish, the Kingfish
Every man a king.”

       American singer/songwriter Randy Newman (b. 1943)  
       In his song “Kingfish” (1974)


ARTISTIC COUNTERQUOTE:

“Every Man a Rembrandt”
       Max S. Klein (1915-1993)
       Marketing slogan for his “Paint by Number” painting kits


THEATRICAL COUNTERQUOTE:

“Just remember what Huey Long said — that every man’s a king — and I’m the king around here.”
       Stanley Kowalski to Stella and Blanche
       In Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (1947 play; 1951 film)


UPDATED POLITICAL COUNTERQUOTE:

“Some desperate Democrats want the president [Obama] to regress even further — past Clinton, all the way to Huey Long. Flog the fat cats; every man a king. But inauthentic populism in a politician is as painfully obvious as a child trying to muster fake tears.”
       American columnist Michael Gerson
       In his Washington Post column, Jan. 27. 2010


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.

February 5, 2010

“Nature abhors a vacuum” – The Famous Writers Edition


FAMOUS PROVERBIAL QUOTE:

“Nature abhors a vacuum.”
       François Rabelais (c. 1494-1553)
       Gargantua and Pantagruel (1534)
       Quoting an old Latin proverb (“Natura abhorret vacuum.”)


WILLIAMS COUNTERQUOTE:

BRICK: “Well, they say nature hates a vacuum, Big Daddy.”
BIG DADDY: “That’s what they say, but sometimes I think that a vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.”
       Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
       American playwright
       Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)


MENCKEN COUNTERQUOTE:

“Nature abhors a moron.”
       H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
       American journalist, critic and curmudgeon
       Chrestomathy (1949)


THOREAU COUNTERQUOTE:

“Most men are engaged in business the greater part of their lives, because the soul abhors a  vacuum, and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man’s nobler faculties.”
       Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
       American writer and philosopher
       Entry in his Journal, April 27, 1854


PARKER COUNTERQUOTE:

“They seldom hear, when they are spoken to;
It’s because their heads are so full
Of little gems of old-world philosophy —
You know the old crack:
Nietzsche abhors a vacuum.”

       Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
       American writer and wit
       In her poem “College Boys: A Hymn of Hate” 
       The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker (2001)


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.

February 2, 2010

Quotes and quips about those “self-made men”


FAMOUS QUOTE:

“In Kentucky, almost every manufactory known to me, is in the hands of enterprising and self-made men, who have acquired whatever wealth they possess by patient and diligent labor.”
       Henry Clay (1777-1852) 
       U.S. Senator from Kentucky
       Speech on the floor of the Senate on February 2, 1832
       Often cited as the origin of the terms “self-made man”


HUMORIST’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Self-made men are most always apt to be a little too proud of the job.”
       Josh Billings 
       Pen name of American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885)
       Quoted by Evan Esar in 20,000 Quips & Quotes (1968)

POLITICIAN’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“He is a self-made man who worships his creator.”
       John Bright (1811-1889)
       British politician
       His attributed quote about rival politician Benjamin Disraeli


AUTOCRAT’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Of course everybody likes and respects self-made men. It is a great deal better to be made in that way than not to be made at all.”
       Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894)
       American physician and author
       In his Autocrat at the Breakfast-Table (1858)


NOVELIST’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.”
       Joseph Heller (1923-1999)
       American novelist
       In his novel Catch-22 (1961),
       Describing the character Colonel Cargill


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my quotations Facebook group.

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