July 29, 2010

Life is like a box of chocolates – or maybe not . . .


THE WATERED-DOWN MOVIE QUOTE:

“My mama always said, life was like a box a chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
       Forrest Gump (actor Tom Hanks)
       In the 1994 film Forrest Gump
       These lines are not in the 1986 novel by Winston Groom that the film is based on. They are a more politically correct version of the opening lines of the novel, which are: “Let me say this: bein a idiot is no box of chocolates. People laugh, lose patience, treat you shabby. Now they says folks sposed to be kind to the afflicted, but let me tell you — it ain’t always that way. Even so, I got no complaints, cause I reckon I done live a pretty interestin life, so to speak.”


BILL MAHER COUNTERQUOTE:

“Life is not like a box of chocolates. A box of chocolates is all good. I mean, it would be like a box of chocolates if there was a occasional turd.” 
       Comedian Bill Maher
       On his TV show Politically Incorrect 


WEREWOLF SUPERMODEL COUNTERQUOTE:

“Forrest Gump’s mother had a lot of catchy sayings. I never really understood any of them. Life is not like a box of chocolates. Life is more like a wad of gum stuck to the bottom of your favorite pair of shoes. The more you try to clean up the mess, the stickier it becomes.” 
       Novelist Ronda Thompson (1955-2007)
       Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel (2007)


CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN RANT:

“Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So you’re stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there’s nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while there’s a peanut butter cup, or an English Toffee. But they’re gone too fast. The taste is fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. If you’re desperate enough to eat those, all you’ve got left is a — is an empty box, filled with useless brown paper wrappers.”
       Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis)
       In a 1996 episode of the The X-Files


TOM LEHRER’S VARIATION:

“Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.” 
       Musical humorist Tom Lehrer
       In his introduction to the song “We Will All Go Together When We Go,” on the album An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer (1953)


NEHRU’S VARIATION:

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism. The way you play it is free will.”
       Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)
       Prime Minister of India from 1947 until 1964
       This quote appears to have first been attributed to Nehru by in Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review, in 1967.

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More movie quotes…

July 19, 2010

Thorstein Veblen’s “conspicuous consumption” gets updated…


ORIGIN OF THE FAMOUS TERM:

“Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability...No class of society, not even the most abjectly poor, forgoes all customary conspicuous consumption.”
       Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929)
       American sociologist and economist
       The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), Chapter 4
       Veblen coined the term “conspicuous consumption” to refer to the way some people use obviously lavish spending to demonstrate their wealth (often regardless of whether they are actually wealthy).


THE TESLA VERSION:

“The Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) roadster has a 1,000 pound battery that needs to be replaced every 7 years at a cost of about $36,000...It’s conspicuous consumption for wealthy liberals — in much the same way that huge SUVs were the vehicle of choice for rich conservatives a few years ago.”
       Investment analyst Kevin McElroy
       On his blog, July 16, 2010
       The base price of a Tesla Roadster is $101,500


SEX IN THE CITY VERSION:

“Sex and the City 2” (R) Sarah Jessica Parker and her gal pals are back in a bloated commercial for conspicuous consumption. It amounts to a long shopping trip through Manhattan followed by a long shopping trip through a resort hotel in Abu Dhabi.”
       Film critic Mike Giuliano
       In a “capsule review” posted on July 1, 2010


IPHONE MOD VERSION:

“The new champion of conspicuous consumption – iPhone division, the Kings Button iPhone mod, in which Austrian jeweler Peter Aloisson will encrust your device in three kinds of 18-carat gold (white, yellow and rose) and 6.6 carats of diamonds, for the ‘What Financial Crisis?’ sum of $2.5 million.”
       Tech blogger Lonnie Lazar
       On the Cult of Mac site, Feb. 26, 2009


THE KIDDY VERSION:

“The only thing sadder than this diamond pacifier is that it is available for $17,000 online. While we’re all for conspicuous consumption and the oppression of the proletariat, there’s something about submitting babies to our powerful consumerist tendencies that just doesn’t sit right with us.”
       Tech blogger John Biggs
       On the Gizmodo site, June 5, 2006


THE COUGAR VERSION:

“A few weeks ago, there was a newspaper report on how ‘middle-aged’ women in the US…were suddenly purchasing sexy lingerie. Now, it wouldn’t have caused much of a stir if 20-somethings were doing the same...But just because 50-something women are sporting sexy innerwear, it’s become conspicuous consumption.”
       Blogger Sushmita Bose
       On the LiveMint.com site, July 11, 2010


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July 15, 2010

Some pointed responses to Tony Hayward’s infamous quote


THE INFAMOUS, INFURIATING QUOTE:

“There’s no one who wants this thing over more than I do. I’d like my life back.”
       BP CEO Tony Hayward 
       Tone deaf comment to a reporter on May 30, 2010 about British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster and the resulting massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico


CARTOONIST’S COUNTERPOINT
:

    Political cartoon by Jack Ohman 
    Published in The Oregonian, June 2010


11 LOST LIVES COUNTERQUOTE:

“Americans watched as BP’s Tony Hayward looking pitifully into television cameras exclaiming to the world that he ‘wants his life back’, totally forgetting about the 11 lives that were lost on the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010…To the rest of us who heard him speak, it’s crystal clear that money does not bring back life and neither does a millionaire’s self-pity.”
       Journalist Gregory Boyce 
       Post on the Examiner.com site, June 21, 2010


LENO’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“BP CEO Tony Hayward said he would just like to get his life back. He wants to get his life back! You know, I say give him life plus 20.”
       Jay Leno
       On The Tonight Show, June 8, 2010


BP SONG VARIATION:

“BP wants their life back.
BP wants a little break.
BP’s had their fill of this nasty spill 
And it’s slimed their precious corp’rate name...
‘Can’t we get back to just making money?
Can’t we get back to a simpler time 
When we weren't held accountable 
   for the nature of our crimes?”
       Songwriter Mick Terry
       In his sardonic song “BP Wants Their Life Back”


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

Further reading about some of the some of the stupidest things ever said or done…

July 10, 2010

“I never promised you a rose garden…”



THE ORIGIN OF THE FAMOUS LINE:

“I Never Promised You a Rose Garden” 
       Hannah Green (pen name of Joanne Greenberg)
       Title of
her 1964 novel, which is the real origin of the saying.
       Of course, it was made even more famous by country singer
Lynn Anderson’s 1970 hit song of the same name. The well-known opening lyrics, written by Joe South, are: “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” Greenberg’s novel is a semi-autobiographical account of a her struggle with schizophrenia as a teenager. In an emotional scene in the book, her therapist tells her: “I never promised you a rose garden. I never promised you perfect justice and I never promised you peace or happiness. My help is that so you can be free to fight for all of these things. The only reality I offer is challenge, and being well is being free to accept it or not at whatever level you are capable. I never promise lies, and the rose-garden world of perfection is a lie...and a bore too!”



THE TOUGH JUDGE VERSION:

“Nobody promised them [prison inmates] a rose garden…They have been convicted of crime, and there is nothing in the Constitution which forbids their being penalized as a result of that conviction.”
       William Rehnquist (1924-2005)
       Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 
       From
his written decision against a group of Oregon prison inmates who wanted the state to be forced to reduce prison overcrowding conditions they contended were inhumane and illegal, in the case Atiyeh v. Capps, Feb. 4, 1981.



THE PASSION OF MEL VERSION:

“Apparently Mel Gibson did promise his babymama Oksana Grigorieva a rose garden…But totally not in a good way. In the latest round of the seemingly endless parade of embarrassing tape leaks purporting to capture the Passion of the Christ helmsman in full meltdown mode, a new snippet of conversation has emerged, in which Gibson reportedly threatens to bury Grigorieva in the flower bed of his Malibu, California, mansion.”
       From
a post on the PEACE FM Online site, July 9, 2010 



THE PRESIDENTIAL VERSION:

“I never promised you a rose garden but I guess [Press Secretary] Ron Nessen did. So, I hope you enjoy this new setting and the new format, and I hope I enjoy it, too.”
       President Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006)
       At a
news conference on October 9, 1974
       Ford was joking about his newly announced plan to hold press conferences in the White House Rose Garden. When Ford and other presidents later started using this option during campaign periods to avoid the usual campaign travel grind while still generating news stories and looking presidential, it was dubbed the “Rose Garden Strategy.”



THE BIONIC VERSION:

Col. Steve Austin (actor Lee Majors): “Now wait a minute, Jaime, you're not going out a torpedo tube. Now you felt the sub, it’s gonna be rough out there.” 
Jaime Sommers (actress Lindsay Wagner): “You never promised me a rose garden.”
       The American TV series The Bionic Woman (1976-77)
       In the episode
“Kill Oscar: Part 3” (1976)

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

July 7, 2010

Who finishes first: nice guys or Heather Locklear?


FAMOUS SPORTS CATCHPHRASE:

“Nice guys finish last.”
       Leo Durocher (1906-1991)
       Baseball player and manager
       Catchphrase traditionally attributed to Durocher, based on remarks he made to reporters about the New York Giants on July 6, 1946, while he was managing the Brooklyn Dodgers.


GIRLS GONE WILD VARIATION:

“Fast girls finish first, and bad girls finish often.” 
       Novelist Annette Blair
       Sex and the Psychic Witch (2007)


MELROSE PLACE CONFIRMATION:

Allison (actress Courtney Thorne-Smith ): “Amanda may be a mean, self-serving, ultra-bitch, but she was right about one thing. Nice guys do finish last in this world. Or hadn’t you heard?”
       From the Melrose Place TV series
       In the episode “To Live & Die in Malibu” (1995) 
       Heather Locklear plays Amanda


SPONGEBOB COUNTERQUOTE:

SpongeBob SquarePants: “You used me...That wasn’t nice.” 
Plankton: “Haven’t you figured it out, SpongeBob? Nice guys finish last. Only aggressive people conquer the world.” 
SpongeBob: “Well, what about aggressively nice people?”
       From the SpongeBob SquarePants TV series
       In the episode "Texas/Walking Small" (2000)


NICHE MARKETING VERSION:

“Niche Guys Finish First.”
       Journalist John H. Taylor
       Title of an article he wrote for Forbes, Oct. 26, 1992 
       


MARKETING GONE WILD VERSION:

“Unregulated international competition appears quite destructive and potentially threatening to our social economy. ‘Good guys finish last’ is a very real scenario in a world pregnant with standards-leveling competition, mobile capital, and billions of low-wage workers eager to get in on the action.” 
       Social economist Edward J. O’Boyle
       In his book Social Economics (1996)


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

July 5, 2010

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”


FAMOUS ORIGINAL SLOGAN:

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
       Ad slogan for the United Negro College Fund since 1971
       Coined by the Young & Rubicam ad agency


CORSETIÈRE COUNTERQUOTE:

“A waist is a terrible thing to waste.” 
       Headline of an article about the Vancouver corset shop (a “corsetière”) Lace Embrace Atelier


COPYCAT COUNTERQUOTE:

“A sick mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
       Movie critic Richard Corliss
       In his negative review of the psychokiller movie Copycat (1995)


GRAMMARIAN’S QUIBBLE:

“The Fund [UNCF] has a slogan that reads, ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste.’ But while one understands the intent of its worded content, the manner in which the slogan is worded makes for light wonderment in semantics as to whether a mind really is a ‘terrible thing’? Should it not then be, ‘It’s a terrible thing to waste a mind’?” 
       Guyanese journalist Emile Mervin
       In an article in the Guyana Gazette, Feb. 26, 2006


COMPOSTER’S VARIATION:

“Compost...because a rind is a terrible thing to waste!”
       Title of a composting manual by Jean Bonhotal and Karen Rollo
       Published by the Cornell University Waste Management Institute (1996)


INFAMOUS QUAYLE BLOOPER:

“When you take the UNCF model that, what a waste it is to lose one’s mind, or not to have a mind is being very wasteful, how true that is.”
       Dan Quayle
       Vice President of the United States (1989-1993)
       Speech at the United Negro College Fund, May 9, 1989
       What a Waste It Is to Lose One's Mind is the title of an unauthorized “autobiography” of Quayle


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Brush up on your bloopers...

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