March 28, 2012

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”


THE FAMOUS SIGN AT THE GATES OF HELL:

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!”
[“
Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate
!”]
      
Dante (Dante Alighieri; 1265-1321)
       Italian poet
       From Dante’s epic poem
Inferno, the first part of his Divine Comedy (written c. 1310-1321)
       This line is the most frequently quoted part of the admonition inscribed over the entrance to Hell that Dante sees in the allegorical tour of the underworld he takes in the poem, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. It has also been translated as “All hope abandon, ye who enter here” and “Abandon all hope, you who enter here.” The full inscription above the entrance says:
    
  “Through me you pass into the city of woe: 
       Through me you pass into eternal pain: 
       Through me among the people lost for aye. 
       Justice the founder of my fabric moved: 
       To rear me was the task of Power divine,        
       Supremest Wisdom, and primeval Love.
       Before me things create were none, save things 
       Eternal, and eternal I endure. 
       Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”


THE HELL DIRECTOR’S VERSION:

“Hello newcomers and welcome…I’m the Hell Director. It looks like we have about 8,615 of you newbies today. And, for those of you who are a little confused, uh, you are dead and this is Hell. So, abandon all hope and, uh, yada yada yada.”
       The
“Hell Director” speaking to souls newly arrived in Hell 
       In the South Park episode
“Probably” (Season 4, Ep. 10; first aired July 26, 2000)


G.B. SHAW’S VIEW OF AMERICAN SOCIETY:

“In your dread of dictators you established a state of society in which every ward boss is a dictator, every financier a dictator, every private employer a dictator, all with the livelihood of the workers at their mercy, and no public responsibility. And to symbolize this state of things, this defeat of all government, you have set up in New York Harbour a monstrous idol which you call Liberty. The only thing that remains to complete this monument is to put on its pedestal the inscription written by Dante on the gate of Hell ‘All hope abandon, ye who enter here.’”
      
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) 
       Irish playwright and social activist
       In a speech titled “
The Future of Political Science in America,” given to the Academy of Political Science in New York City on April 11, 1933.


THE DRUG REHAB VERSION:

“Abandon all dope, ye who enter here!”
       Sign above the door of a drug rehab center 
       Fictional sign in the novel
Justice Denied (2007) by Judith A. Jance


SPACE MARINES COUNTERQUOTE:

Commodore Ross: “Who is that? Which squadron?”
Communications officer: “It’s the 58th, sir! The Wild Cards!”
Commodore Ross:
“Abandon all hope, my ass!” 
      
Commodore Glen Ross (Actor Tucker Smallwood)
       In the
“Never No More” episode of the great science fiction TV series Space: Above and Beyond. (Season 1, Ep. 14, first aired on February 4, 1996.) 

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March 19, 2012

“Charity begins at home” — along with beating, Homeland Security and obesity…


THE SAYING THE ROMAN PLAYWRIGHT DIDN’T ACTUALLY SAY:

“Charity begins at home.” 
       Proverbial saying often attributed (wrongly) to
Terence (c. 190-159 B.C.)
      
Many websites and books say this old saw dates back to the ancient comic play Andria (The Girl from Andros), written by the Roman playwright Publius Terentius Afer, called Terence for short. However, the Latin line in the play the traditional attribution is based on is “Proximus sum egomet mihi” — which doesn’t actually translate as “Charity begins at home.” The literal translation is “I myself am closest to myself.” (Proximus means “closest” or “nearest” in English, sum means “I am,” egomet is “myself” and mihi translates as “to me.”) 
     The connection between Andria and the English proverb may have started with a footnote in the classic 1887 translation of the play by Henry Thomas Riley. Riley translated “
Proximus sum egomet mihi” as “I am the most concerned in my own interests.” But in a footnote he said this was: “Equivalent to our sayings, ‘Charity begins at home;’ ‘Take care of number one.’”   
       Early versions of “Charity begins at home” date back to the 14th century in English literature. It appears to be one of those proverbial sayings with no clear origin. There are
various and conflicting explanations of what the saying means. In Terence’s play Andria, the words “Proximus sum egomet mihi” are said sarcastically by the character Charinus about a friend he thinks betrayed him and acted selfishly. Some explanations of the English idiom “Charity begins at home” give a similar, self-centered meaning for the familiar proverb. More often, it is said to mean you should be concerned about and generous to your own family first, before worrying about and helping other people. It is also used as a way of suggesting that people learn to be kind — or unkind — from how they’re treated and taught at home while growing up. 
       One thing is clear:
“Charity begins at home” is not what Terence wrote.


THE ENGLISH PLAYWRIGHT’S VERSION:

“Charity and beating begins at home.”
      
John Fletcher (1579–1625)
       English playwright 
       The most famous line from his play
Wit without Money (written around 1614, first published in 1639), a work sometimes attributed jointly to Fletcher and his frequent writing partner Francis Beaumont.


THE AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT’S VERSION:

“Censorship, like charity, should begin at home, but, unlike charity, it should end there.”
      
Claire Boothe Luce (1903-1987)
       American playwright, journalist and U.S. Congresswoman
       A quote
attributed to Luce by many sources, though without a specific citation. (Some indicate that it may come from one of the series of articles she wrote for McCall’s magazine in the late 1940s.)


THE BRITISH ANTHROPOLOGIST’S VERSION:

“The ethnographer has first to register a striking fact. Aggressiveness, like charity, begins at home.”
      
Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942)
       British anthropologist
       In his book Freedom and Civilization (first published in 1947)


THE ANTI-TERRORISM VARIATION:

“Homeland Security Begins at Home.”
      
Public Service Announcement created for the Illinois Terrorism Task Force


THE ANTI-FAT KID VARIATION:

“FAT PREVENTION BEGINS AT HOME. 
AND THE BUFFET LINE.”
 
       Poster slogan
created for the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta “Strong4Life” program

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March 7, 2012

Boldly going where no quotes have gone before…


THE ORIGINAL PHRASE FROM THE ORIGINAL SERIES:

“To boldly go where no man has gone before.”
      
Star Trek: The Original Series (first aired 1966-1969)
       Famous phrase from the opening sequence of each episode
       This is probably the best known and most parodied split infinitive in modern history. It’s from the voiceover introduction to the TV series Star Trek, spoken by actor
William Shatner, as Captain James T. Kirk. Any true Trekkie can recite the complete intro: “Space – the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
       In the spin-off series,
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994), the words “five-year mission” were changed to “continuing mission” and “no person” replaced “no man,” to be more politically correct. The rest of the Next Gen intro, spoken by actor Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, was the same as the Star Trek: TOS version.
      
At a recent Comic Con in New Orleans, a Star Trek fan asked William Shatner: “Do you boldly go where no man has gone before?” The 80-year-old actor quipped: “It depends on the girl.”


DOUGLAS ADAMS’ THHGTTG QUIP:

“Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and on the whole tax free...And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before.”
      
Douglas Adams (1952-2001)
       British writer especially known in this universe for creating
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio, TV and book series
       The lines above were spoken by narrator Peter Jones
in the third episode of Adams’ original radio series version of THHGTTG


THE INSPIRING “GET RICH CHEATING” VERSION:

“There will always be opportunities to cheat. It’s up to you to discover them, to create new ways to Get Rich Cheating. Seek out new unexplored worlds, boldly cheat where no cheater has cheated before. Be the next Barry Bonds, Ashlee Simpson, Rod Blagojevich, or generic, balding,  middle-aged white corporate executive.”
      
Jeff Kreisler
       American actor, author and writer for Comedy Central
       Advice in his book
Get Rich Cheating: The Crooked Path to Easy Street (2009)


THE UNINSPIRING SPACE PROGRAM VERSION:

“I’m tired of driving around the block boldly going where hundreds have gone before in orbit around Earth.”
      
Neil deGrasse Tyson
       American astrophysicist, author and advocate for space exploration
       Talking about America’s current space program and his support for manned missions to Mars and beyond,
in an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (January 18, 2011)


THE UNTIRING BABES IN SPACE VERSION:

“Space. It’s big. It’s dark. It’s spooky. These are the voyages of the starship Intercourse. The crew’s five minute mission is to spread the seed of humanity to any hot looking babe in a spacesuit, and to boldly cum where no man has cum before.”
      
Sex Trek: Charly XXX (2007) 
       Lines from the opening of this porn movie takeoff on Star Trek

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