July 19, 2011

Alternative versions of the Pledge of Allegiance…


THE ORIGINAL PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
      
Francis Bellamy (1855-1931) 
       American Baptist minister, Christian Socialist and magazine editor
       This is the
original Pledge of Allegiance, written by Bellamy and published in the September 8, 1892 issue of The Youth’s Companion magazine. The words were changed several times in following decades. In 1923, at the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C., “my Flag” was changed to “the flag of the United States.” At the following year’s national Flag Conference, the words “of America” were added. In 1942, that version of the Pledge was made official by Congress. In 1954, Congress passed a resolution which added the words “under God” to the Pledge, creating the current version:
      “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


THE MAD MAGAZINE FLAG POSTER VERSION:

“I WILL PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS WHEN IT IS ONE NATION UNDER GOD WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL INCLUDING KIKES, WOPS, SPICS, NIGGERS, WASPS, ETC.” 
       From a poster in a 1971 special issue of
MAD magazine (Special Number Five)
       These words are printed in capital letters in the red stripes of the poster’s flag image (shown at left).


THE WHITEST KIDS U’ KNOW VERSION:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. Thank you very, very much for letting us little kids live here. It really, really was nice of you. You didn’t have to do it. And it’s really not freaky that us little, little kids mindlessly recite this anthem every day and pledge their life to a government before they’re old enough to really think about what they’re saying. This is not a form of brainwashing. This is not a form of brainwashing. This is not a form of brainwashing. This is really the greatest country in the whole world. All the other countries suck. And, if this country ever goes to war, as it often wants to do, I promise to help go and kill all the other countries’ kids. God bless Johnson & Johnson. God bless GE. God bless Citigroup. Amen.”
       From IFC’s
Whitest Kids U' Know comedy series
      
This skit is in Episode 7 of Season 5 (first aired on May 27, 2011).


THE ANIMAL HOUSE VERSION:

“I, state your name, do hereby pledge allegiance to the frat with liberty and fraternity for all. Amen.”
       The Delta House fraternity pledge, in
National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)


A MATHEMATICIAN’S VERSION:

“I pledge my support for the semiautonomous, evolving, complex dynamical network known as the United States of America and for those principles that maximize the degrees of freedom and independence of its human nodes.”
      
John Allen Paulos
       Professor of Mathematics at Temple University
       One of a number of alternate versions of the Pledge of Allegiance submitted to the Washington Post for
a special section in the July 4, 2005 edition.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    

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

Related reading and listening…

 

July 16, 2011

Genius is one percent inspiration – or maybe two…


THE FAMOUS EDISON QUOTE (THAT HE MAY NOT HAVE SAID):

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
       Attributed to
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)
       American inventor and businessman 
       This well-known witticism (often given without the word “and” after “inspiration”) is traditionally credited to Thomas Edison. It’s possible that he something like it, but the facts are fuzzy. Nothing like this quote is included in his writings or in his recorded speeches or interviews. The first mention of a definition of genius by Edison is in an article about him in
the April 1898 issue of the Ladies Home Journal. A paragraph in that article says:
       “Once, when asked to give his definition of genius, Mr. Edison replied: ‘Two per cent is genius and ninety-eight per cent is hard work.’ At another time, when the argument that genius was inspiration was brought before him, he said: ‘Bah! Genius is not inspired. Inspiration is perspiration.’” 
       An article
in a 1902 issue of Scientific American claimed that Edison once remarked: “Genius is 2 percent inspiration and 98 percent perspiration,” but it gave no source for the quote. That 2%/98% definition was also mentioned in a 1908 biography of Edison and a 1911 article in Chamber’s Journal — without providing any information on when Edison supposedly said it. Then in 1932, a year after Edison died, an article Harper's Monthly Magazine noted that sometime around 1902 or 1903 Edison said: “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” No source for the quote was given by Harper’s. However, this version became legendary and is cited by many books and websites (often giving Harper’s Monthly Magazine as the source).


JOHN GARDNER’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent obdurate stupidity.”
      
John C. Gardner (1933-1982)
       American scholar and novelist 
       A line attributed to a fictional writer in Gardner’s novel Stillness and Shadows (1986)


THE SEX AND CRIME VARIATION:

“Sex is like crime. Only one percent motivation and ninety-nine percent opportunity.”
      
Len Deighton  
       British novelist and historian
       In his novel Mexico Set (1985)


THE ASSASSINATION VARIATION:

“Assassination is one percent shooting, ninety-nine percent preparation.” 
      
Jeffrey Donovan (as former spy Michael Westen)
       In the
“False Flag” episode of Burn Notice (Season 1, Ep. 10)


THE BUSINESS SUCCESS VARIATION:

“Succeeding in this business is ninety-nine percent perseverance and one percent talent. Congratulations, gentlemen, you’re ninety-nine percent of the way there.”  
      
Bob Balaban (as the character Arthur Planck)
       In the movie Dedication (2007)

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     

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

New and forthcoming books of quotations…

July 7, 2011

“I dream things that never were and say, why not?”


THE ORIGINAL LINES FROM A LITTLE KNOWN PLAY:

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”
       George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
       Familiar
lines from Part I of Shaw’s otherwise forgotten play Back to Methuselah (1921)
       These lines are said by The Serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden in the play, which is an amazingly odd science fiction fantasy that spans the ages from Adam and Eve to 31,000 A.D. and took three nights to perform in its entirety. Back to Methuselah was published in 1921 and first performed in 1922 at the Garrick Theatre in New York City.


AN INSPIRING POLITICAN’S MORE FAMOUS VERSION:

“Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?”
      
Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)
       American lawyer, civil rights activist and politician
       Lines frequently used by Kennedy at the close of his speeches
       Bobby Kennedy recited this version of what Shaw wrote in Back to Methuselah so often that
many sources credit the words to him with no mention of Shaw, as if Kennedy coined the saying. Kennedy himself usually noted that he was quoting Shaw in his speeches, although his version was actually a paraphrase of Shaw, rather than an exact quote.


THE CROOKED POLITICIAN PRINCIPLE:

“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others see things that might be and ask: How much?” 
       Carl Hiaasen
       American journalist and novelist
       From his
April 13, 1990 column in the Miami Herald, included in the book Kick Ass: Selected Columns of Carl Hiaasen (2001). This was Hiaasen’s commentary on revelations that the Mayor of Miami Beach had received payments from a corporation that wanted approval for a local beachfront construction project.


A TV LAWYER’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Some people see things as they are and ask why? Others see things as they never were and claim mad cow.”
      
James Spader, as the character Alan Shore on the TV series Boston Legal
       A comment about our litigious society said to William Shatner (playing Shore’s law partner Denny Crane), in the
“Stick It” episode of Boston Legal (Season 2, Ep. 19; first aired on March 14, 2006)


GEORGE CARLIN’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that shit.”
      
George Carlin (1937-2008)
       American comic genius
       Carlin used these lines in performances in the 1990s and included it in his book
Brain Droppings (1998). Contrary to what George would have wanted, it’s often quoted in censored form, without the word “shit.”


*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

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

Related reading, listening and viewing…

Copyrights, Disclaimers & Privacy Policy


Creative Commons License
Copyright © 2009-2014 by Subtropic Productions LLC

The Quote/Counterquote blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Any duplicative or remixed use of the original text written for this blog and any exact duplications the specific sets of quotations collected for the posts shown here must include an attribution to QuoteCounterquote.com and, if online, a link to http://www.quotecounterquote.com/

To the best of our knowledge, the non-original content posted here is used in a way that is allowed under the fair use doctrine. If you own the copyright to something we've posted and think we may have violated fair use standards, please let me know.

Subtropic Productions LLC and QuoteCounterquote.com are committed to protecting your privacy. We will not sell your email address, etc. For more details, read this blog's full Privacy Policy.