June 19, 2016

“What does not kill me makes me stronger” – from Nietzsche and The Donald to Miley and Conan…


NIETZSCHE’S FAMOUS MAXIM:

“What does not kill me makes me stronger.”
(“Was mich nicht umbringt macht mich stärker.”)
      
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
       German philosopher and poet
       In the “Maxims and Arrows”
section of his book Twilight of the Idols (1888)
       This famous line by Nietzsche has been translated and paraphrased in various ways, often with Whatever or That which in place of the word What, doesn’t instead of does not, and destroy or some other verb in place of kill. Nietzsche used a similar line in Ecce Homo (written 1888, published 1908), the last book he wrote before going completely insane. In the chapter of Ecce Homo titled
“Why I Am So Wise,” he wrote that a person who has “turned out well” could be recognized by certain attributes, such as a knack for exploiting bad accidents to his advantage. Regarding such a man, Nietzsche said: “What does not kill him makes him stronger.” (“Was ihn nicht umbringt, macht ihn stärker.”)

trump-cartoon playing the media

THE DONALD TRUMP MAXIM:

“What doesn’t kill Trump makes him stronger. And louder.”
       Sarah Rense
       Assistant Editor at Esquire magazine
       In a post about FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly's feud with Donald Trump on the Esquire.com website. (Cartoon by Tom Stiglich, TomStiglich.com.)


THE MILEY CYRUS MAXIM:

“In our celebrity-obsessed culture, whatever outrageous act doesn’t manage to kill a celebrity’s career simply makes them a bigger celebrity.” 
       Comment posted by “JohnnyYuma” on the ABC News story about Miley Cyrus and her “twerking” performance on the August 2013 MTV Video Music Awards show


MEL’S STRENGTH-THROUGH-HUMILIATION SYSTEM:

“You ask anybody what their number one fear is and it’s public humiliation. Multiply that on a global scale and that’s what I've been through. It changes you and makes you one tough motherf**ker. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s really that simple.”
      
Mel Gibson 
       In a
January 2010 interview in The Telegraph 
       Commenting on what he learned after the publicity flap over his 2006 arrest for DUI and the anti-Semitic remarks he made to the cops who arrested him. Mel told The Telegraph the incident had a positive effect on his life and he had learned from his mistakes. The interview came out before his highly-publicized, ranting attacks on his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, which made Mel even stronger (and even less marketable as an actor).


THE JOKER’S VARIATION:

“I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you stranger.”
      
Heath Ledger, as the Batman villain The Joker, in the movie The Dark Knight (2008)


ANGELINA’S VARIATION:

“quod me nutrit
  me destruit.”
      
Latin saying tattooed on Angelina Jolie’s lower abdomen
       In English, it means “What nourishes me also destroys me.”


THE SCREW YOU VERSION:

“Whatever hurts you makes me stronger.”  
      
Leslie Stefanson, as the character Capt.
Elisabeth Campbell, in the movie The General’s Daughter (1999)


THE SHARED PHILOSPHY OF CONAN AND CLAIREE:

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
       Quote shown at the beginning of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie
Conan the Barbarian (1982) and also used as a quip by Clairee Belcher (actress Olympia Dukakis) in the movie Steel Magnolias (1989).

Here’s a link to another Quote/Counterquote post with variations on Nietzsche’s famous maxim.

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Comments? Questions? Corrections? Post them on my Famous Quotations Facebook group.

Related reading:

June 6, 2016

Faith, hope & charity – from the Bible, to American politics, to Dale Evans & Roy Rogers...

Saint Paul the Apostle

THE FAMILIAR BIBLE VERSE:

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
        Saint Paul (c. 5 A.D. - c. 67 A.D.)
        I Corinthians 13:13 (i.e., Chapter 13, Verse 13)
        I Corinthians, usually referred to as First Corinthians or the First Epistle to the Corinthians is a book in the Bible based on a letter written around 53 A.D. by Paul, an Apostle of Jesus (though not one of the first twelve). Much of the letter provides stern guidance to the congregation of Christians Paul established in Corinth, Greece. He’d heard they were violating some of the rules for followers of the new Christian faith that he helped create. So in his letter, he warned them about various sinful things, such as getting drunk, fornicating (which he mentions many times) and allowing women to go around without covering their head (a strange rule that Muslims and early Christians had in common).
       One of the less Puritanical and more inspiring parts of I Corinthians comes in Book 13. In that, Paul discusses the importance of being charitable. It ends with the line that includes the familiar triumvirate “faith, hope, charity” – of which, Paul says, the greatest is charity. 
       This line is preceded by two that include other famous Bible quotes about putting away childish things (Chap. 13, Verse 11) and seeing through a glass darkly (Chap. 13, Verse 12):
       When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
       For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
       And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 27, 1936 speech

F.D.R.’S POLITICAL VARIATION:

“We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift from every recess of American life the dread fear of the unemployed that they are not needed in the world...In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity.”
       Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
       American Democratic politician elected to serve three terms as President of the United States
       In his acceptance speech after receiving the Democratic nomination for his second term as president, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 27, 1936.

Barry Goldwater autobiography 1988

GOLDWATER’S POLITICAL VARIATION:

“Freedom has been the watchword of my political life...I believe in faith, hope, and charity. But none of these is possible without freedom.”
       Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)
       Republican politician who served U.S. Senator from Arizona for many years and was the Republican Party's nominee for President in 1964 
       The quote is from his autobiography Goldwater, first published in 1988

GREENBERG, Paul

POLITICAL VARIATION #3:

“America's greatness and variety, its perpetual newness and variety, its bedrock of faith, hope and charity is all too easy to forget. Yet it is always there, rising above the cloud banks of cheap and easy rhetoric like the Rockies above the fruited plain.”
       Paul Greenberg
       Pulitzer Prize-winning political commentator
       Commenting on the uniquely bizarre 2016 presidential campaign in an editorial originally published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 27, 2016

George Orwell at typewriter

ORWELL’S TYPICALLY PESSIMISTIC VERSION:

“Now abideth faith, hope, money; but the greatest of these is money.”
       George Orwell (1903-1950)
       English novelist, essayist and journalist
       One of his lines from the epigraph he wrote that appears at the beginning of his novel Keep The Aspidistra Flying (1936)

Dale Evans DC Comics cover

DALE EVANS’ TYPICALLY OPTIMISTIC VERSION:

“Have faith, hope and charity
That's the way to live successfully
How do I know, the Bible tells me so.”

       Dale Evans (1912-2001)
       Lyrics from the song “The Bible Tells Me So”
       Words and music by Dale Evans
       Evans wrote the song to perform with her husband Roy Rogers on The Roy Rogers Show. They sang it as a duet in the episode “Ginger Horse,” which originally aired on March 27, 1955. That year it was recorded and further popularized by singer Nick Noble and bandleader Don Cornell. It eventually became one of Dale’s signature songs.

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