May 25, 2010

Be here now – if there is a now here (or something like that)


THE GURU’S FAMOUS CATCHPHRASE:

“Be here now” 
      Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert in 1931) 
      American spiritual guru
Ram Dass popularized the catchphrase “Be here now,” which he used in the title of a book in 1971 (the full original title was Remember Be Here Now). In the book, former psychedelic drug advocate Alpert (a colleague of Timothy Leary) says he got the phrase from a 23-year-old “very high guy” from Laguna Beach, California that he met on a fateful trip to India in 1967, where he became enlightened, changed his name to Ram Dass (which means “Servant of God” in Hindi) and turned from promoting drugs to promoting his version of Indian mysticism.


THE GOOEY LOST FINALE VERSION:

Christian (Jack’s dead Dad): “I love you, son.”
Jack: “I love you, too, Dad. Are you real?”
Christian: “I sure hope so. Yeah, I’m real. You’re real, everything that’s ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church – they’re all real, too.”
Jack: “They’re all dead?”
Christian: “Everyone dies some time, kiddo. Some of them before you, some long after you.”
Jack: “But why are they all here now?”
Christian: “Well, there is no now, here.”  
      From the final episode of the TV series Lost 
      First aired, May 23, 2010


THE GEORGE HARRISON VERSION:

The past was – be here now
As it’s what was before it was
.” 
      George Harrison’s song “Be Here Now” 
      From his 1973 album Living in the Material World


THE GENERATION X RANT VERSION:

Nick (actor Brendan Fehr): “The generation before us sold their innocence for 200 digitally enhanced satellite stations, and it’s been downhill ever since. They had Mickey Mouse, Easy Rider and The Beatles. Alright? We got South Park, The Blair Bitch and Ricky Martin. Alright? They had ‘Be here now!’ We got ‘Shit Happens!’” 
       In the vampire movie The Forsaken (2001)

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May 20, 2010

The last refuge – and sometimes the first…


FAMOUS ORIGINAL QUOTE:

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”
       Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
       British writer, wit and lexicographer
       Quoted in James Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1791) 
       Boswell noted: “Let it be considered that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self-interest.”


THE HAZARDS OF POSTING VERSION:

“Diversity is the Last Refuge of a Scoundrel...In large corporate bureaucracies, government and academia, in which accomplishment is hard to measure and has only distant effects on the success and survival of the organization, diversity is always on the agenda.”
       Physics Professor Jonathan I. Katz
       Washington University in St. Louis
       One of the posts on his website that got him fired from a team of scientists chosen to find ways to control the continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. (Along with such posts as “In Defense of Homophobia.")


BIGOTS’ REFUGE VARIATION:

“The Internet is the last refuge of bigots. Often when people shit on me, they mention something about my being Jewish.”
       Actor Jay Baruchel
       In a recent interview on NowToronto.com


SEX REHAB VERSION:

“A little scandal breaks over his extra-curricular activities, and what does the tough guy do? He runs off to pout on his yacht for a few months, and then seeks the last refuge of all scoundrels: rehab for the non-existent malady known as ‘sex addiction.’” 
       Email from “David” to sportswriter Berry Tramel
       Posted on Tramel’s blog, May 17, 2010


AVANT-GARDE RIFF:

“The last refuge of the untalented is the avant-garde.”
       George Russell (1923-2009)
       American jazz pianist and composer
       Comment in a Playboy panel discussion on “Jazz – Today and Tomorrow” (Feb. 1964)


ANTI-CONSENSUS VARIATION:

“Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”
       Michael Crichton (1942-2008)
       American author, producer, director, screenwriter
       In a speech at Cal Tech, arguing against the theory of global warning, January 17, 2003

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New recommendation: more wisdom from Yogi Berra…

The Yogi Book: “I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said”

May 15, 2010

“A little learning is a dangerous thing.”


THE FAMOUS ORIGINAL QUOTE:

“A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.”

       Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
       In his poem An Essay on Criticism (1711)


GOLDMAN-SACHS VERSION:

“A little thieving is a dangerous art,
But thieving largely is a noble part;
As vile to rob a hen-roost of a hen,
But stealing largely makes us gentlemen.”

       The Democratic Speaker’s Handbook (1868)
       A quip aimed at the 19th Century versions of Goldman Sachs


OSCAR WILDE’S VARIATION:

“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”
        Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
        “The Critic as Artist” (1891)


TERRY PRATCHETT’S TAKE:

“They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance. There are some situations where the correct response is to display the sort of ignorance which happily and willfully flies in the face of the facts.”
       Terry Pratchett (b.1948)
       Equal Rites (1987), a Discworld novel


THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER VERSION:

“Between lovers a little confession is a dangerous thing.”
       Helen Rowland (1875-1950)
       Quoted in the The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations


THE RED GREEN VERSION:

“Middle-aged men...We know everything. But you got to keep this knowledge to yourself, all right? I know that you know that your neighbor is planting that shrub the wrong way, but don’t say anything. I too have seen my wife wallpaper the bedroom the hard way. Just keep your mouth shut, all right? Because when they found out how smart we are, they get jealous, all right? I don’t know who said, ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,’ but I’m guessing it was a middle-aged man. So whatever it is you know — and I know it’s a lot — keep it under your hat and you’ll be able to keep your friends. Believe me, I know.”
       Red Green (actor Steve Smith)
       In an episode of The Red Green Show (1991-2006)

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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on the Quotations Facebook Group.

Some recommended books of proverbial sayings and clichés

May 7, 2010

7 quotes about things real men don’t do…


FAMOUS ORIGINAL SOURCE:

Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche
       Bruce Feirstein
       Writer and columnist for the New York Observer
       Title of his 1983 book, based on a humorous piece he wrote for Playboy magazine in 1982.


THE BEVERAGE VERSION:

“Real men don’t put water in their whiskey.”
       David Ware
       Owner of the Stockman Bar and Steakhouse 
       The Montana Billings Gazette, April 19, 2010


THE BELUSHI VERSION:

Real Men Don’t Apologize
       Jim Belushi
       Book title (2006)


THE STAR TREK VARIATION:

“REAL MEN DON’T SET FOR STUN”
       T-Shirt slogan
       Black Mambo Designs


THE PJs VARIATION:

“Real men don’t wear pajamas…Real men wear underwear. If they wear anything else to bed, it’s a Pittsburgh Steelers T-shirt. And a smile.”
       Kevin Cowherd
       In his book Last Call at the 7-Eleven (1995)


THE COUNTRY BOYS VERSION:

“Real men don’t drink latte. They drink beer, smoke Marlboros, and ride their SUVs through mud and up mountains, to the acclaim of women and the envy of other men. Real men are rural men: this cultural idea wields not only enormous political power but enormous economic power.”
       Country Boys: Masculinity And Rural Life (2006)
       Edited by Michael Bell and Margaret Finney


THE IDEAL VERSION:

“Real men don’t beat women. Real men don’t rape. Real men, in short, don’t worry about whether they’re real men.”
       Robert S. McElvaine
       In his book Eve's Seed (2001)
       (At left, the cover of Real Men magazine, Jan. 1957, from www.MensPulpMags.com)

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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on the Quotations Facebook Group.

May 3, 2010

“When you got it, flaunt it!”


FAMOUS MOVIE QUOTE:

“That’s it baby, when you got it, flaunt it! Flaunt it!” 
     Zero Mostel, in movie The Producers (1968)
     Written and directed by Mel Brooks
     Often misquoted as “If you’ve got it...” or “When you’ve got it...” The film premiered on March 18, 1968 and inspired the ad slogan used by Braniff airlines in an ad campaign that started later that year.


FAMOUS AD SLOGAN:

“When you got it – flaunt it.”
     Braniff Airways ad slogan (1968 to the mid-1970s) 
     Originally used in ads featuring paired celebrities, such as Andy Warhol and Sonny Liston, Salvador Dali and Whitey Ford, Mickey Spillane and Marianne Moore. In the TV versions, one celebrity says the line to the other.


RUTH RENDELL VERSION:

“What’s the use of having money if you don’t flaunt it?” 
     Ingrid Pamber (actress Alison Fielding)
     The Ruth Rendell Mysteries TV Series  
     In the episode “Simisola: Part Two” (1996)


JAMES GALWAY VERSION:

“If you've got it, flaut it.”
     Headline of an article about James Galway, the famous Irish flautist
     In The Independent (UK), May 23, 1997


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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on the Quotations Facebook Group.



Recommended for film buffs...

Sex, Lines and Videotape: Famous Film Quotes

Compiled by Paul Wellings

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