June 23, 2017

“You are what you eat” (among other things)…

You_Are_What_You_Eat,_1940

THE FAMOUS ORIGINAL QUOTE:

“You Are What You Eat”             
      
Dr. Victor Hugo Lindlahr (1895-1969)
       Pioneering American health food advocate
       The title of
his popular and influential book, first published in 1942, which promotes the idea that eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (a “Catabolic Diet” by Lindlahr) is the key to good health.
       Lindlahr is generally credited with popularizing the phrase, though a
s noted on the great Phrase Finder site, versions had been floating around as far back as the early 1800s French food gourmet Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826) included the aphorism “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are” in his 1825 book The Physiology of Taste. German philosopher Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (1804-1872) said in an 1863 essay “A man is what he eats.” 
       “You are what you eat” was picked up and recycled by many nutritionists and food writers in the 1950s. In the 1960s, it gained new popularity as a slogan used by organic food advocates, further popularized by the 1968 semi-documentary music/comedy film
You Are What You Eat, which features musicians Peter Yarrow, Barry McGuire, Tiny Tim, Paul Butterfield and lots of Hippies.

Donald Trump Think Big book

THE DONALD TRUMP PRINCIPLE:

“You are what you think you are…Oftentimes, perception is more important than fact.”              
      
Donald Trump
       Former businessman turned politician; elected the 45th President of the United States in November 2016
       A comment Trump made in book
Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life (originally published in 2007)
       I suspect many people would likely agree that The Donald has adhered to this belief throughout his business and political career.

Social Media Logotype Background

THE SOCIAL MEDIA PRINCIPLE:

“You are what you post.”              
       An aphorism about social media posts on the internet – made by
more than 800,000 posts on the internet. 
       
      

frank-zappa-you-are-what-you-is-cbs

ZAPPA’S VARIATION:

“You are what you is
You is what you am
A cow don’t make ham...
You are what you is
An’ that’s all it ‘tis.”

       
Frank Zappa
       American musician, filmmaker and entrepreneur
       Lyrics from the title song of Zappa's 1981 double album You Are What You Is
      

Farla Efros

THE FASHION ETHICS UPDATE:

“You are what you wear. Today, it’s becoming more and more important to choose your apparel consciously and to make sustainable fashion choices.”             
      
Farla Efros
       President of retail strategic firm HRC Advisory, which advises corporations on ethical operating practices
       Quoted in
a 2016 HuffingtonPost article about “fair trade” fashion wear
     

James Burke, producer & author

BURKE’S LAW:

“You are what you know.”              
      
James Burke
       British science historian, documentary producer and author
       In his excellent book
The Day the Universe Changed (1985)

Critters movies DVD collection boxset UK, starring Dee Wallace, Scott Grimes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angela Bassett, Don Keith Opper, Terrence Mann, Lin Shaye, Billy Zane, Aimee Brooks, Brad Dourif, Eric DaRe and many more - dvdbash.wordpress.com

THE CRITTERS COUNTERQUOTE:

“You are what they eat.”              
       Advertising slogan for the movie
Critters 3 (1991), one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s early films
      

Buddha

BUDDHA’S DEEP THOUGHT:

“We are what we think.”              
      
Buddha (563-483 B.C.)
       Indian spiritual teacher whose teachings are the foundation of the Buddhist religion
       This is the popular English translation of the opening words of Verse 1 of
The Dhammapada, as translated by Thomas Byrom in the mid-1970s. Although Byrom’s version has been widely read and quoted, it’s a loose, creative translation that has been criticized as inaccurate by some Buddhist scholars. Another alternate, somewhat more literal translation of the line is: “All things have the nature of mind.”
      

Weekly World News, Nov 6, 2001

WEEKLY WORLD NEWS REINCARNATION VARIATION:

“You are what you were. Expert reveals how past lives control everything you do – TODAY!”              
       Headlines from a story on page 15 of
the November 6, 2001 issue of the Weekly World News
       I still miss the print version of WWN, but I’m glad there’s
an online version now.
       

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May 30, 2017

“Ignorance is bliss” – except when it’s not…

Thomas Gray, poet-8x6
FAMOUS POETIC ORIGIN:

“Where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.”

       Thomas Gray (1716-1771) 
       English poet
       From the last two lines of his poem “On a Distant Prospect of Eton College.”
       This is the origin of the proverbial phrase “ignorance is bliss.” In the poem, it referred to young people who are happily oblivious to the difficulties they will face as adults — and to the ultimate, inescapable fate of death.
       “Ignorance is bliss” is now more widely used in one of two ways: to suggest that it is sometimes better not to be aware of something that might make a person unhappy; or, as a satirical remark about people who try to ignore issues they should be concerned about and dealing with. 

William C. Dudley
THE POSITIVE SIDE OF IGNORANCE:

“Ignorance is bliss. Without sufficient appreciation of our own ignorance, we cease to be curious, we cease to be receptive to new ideas and we cease to be respectful of other people. Awareness of our own ignorance is a virtue: knowing that we do not know everything makes us humble, patient, open to compromise and collaboration. You may have noticed that these qualities are in short supply. Embracing your ignorance is good for you and it’s good for the world.”
       William C. Dudley
       President of Washington and Lee University
       In his commencement speech to graduating students on May 25, 2017

chris rock & robin williams
THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF AWARENESS:

“Comedians can be a sad bunch, you know. You know what’s the saying? Ignorance is bliss. So if ignorance is bliss, what’s the opposite of ignorance? Must not be bliss. And your job as a comedian, you know, is basically to notice everything. And the better the comedian, the more aware he or she is of the world around them. So you know, it can be not a happy place. Sometimes you can have too much information. Sometimes you can know too much.”

       Chris Rock
       American comedian and actor
       His response in an August 12, 2014 interview about the death by suicide of his friend Robin Williams

Stephen Fry on QI-8x6
STEPHEN FRY COUNTERQUOTE:

“If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t there more happy people in the world?”
       Stephen Fry
       British actor, author and wit
       On the BBC comedy panel game show QI (short for “Quite Interesting”)

Man_afraid_of_tampons_PNG-8x6         
THE MANLY AVERSION VERSION:

“When it comes to anything found on the shelves of the feminine hygiene aisle, ignorance is bliss.”
       Daniel M. Cruse
       American author and EzineArticles.com contributor
       In his post about “Air Intake Systems”

STD poster-8x6           
THE STD VARIATION:

“When it comes to communicable diseases, ignorance is not bliss.”
       Kay Robertson           
       Communicable disease expert
       At a recent public hearing in Helena, Montana

Party Girl-8x6
THE PARTY BOY’S ANSWER:

DERRICK (actor John Cameron Mitchell): “O’Neal, settle a bet. Is ignorance bliss?”
O’NEAL: (actor Matthew Borlenghi): “I don’t know. I just wanna be happy!”
       In the TV series Party Girl (1996)


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May 7, 2017

“Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Anna Karenina quote, Leo Tolstoy (1878) 02a

TOLSTOY’S FAMOUS LINE ABOUT FAMILIES:

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
      
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
       Russian novelist, playwright and essayist
       The
first line of Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina (1878)
       This sentence—one of the most famous opening lines in literature—is also sometimes translated as “All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
       The character Anna Karenina is an aristocratic Russian woman who leaves her husband for a rich count named Alexei Vronsky. Their affair has tragic consequences for Anna. In a contrasting subplot, a country landowner named Konstantin Levin finds happiness in his marriage to Kitty, the sister-in-law of Anna’s brother.
       Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina during a period when his own life with his long-suffering
wife Sophia (who he nicknamed Sonya) was becoming increasingly unhappy for both of them. The story was initially published in installments in the journal Russkii Vestrik (The Russian Herald, a.k.a. The Russian Messenger) from January 1875 to April 1877. The first complete book version, in Russian, was published in 1878. The first English translation was published in 1918. Since then, Anna Karenina has often been cited as one of the greatest novels of all time, though some modern readers find it a bit boring (in its own classic way). 
       Nearly twenty film and TV adaptations of the novel have been made. Actresses who have played Anna Karenina in those adaptations include Great Garbo, Vivien Leigh, Nicola Paget, Jacqueline Bissett, Sophie Marceau, Helen McCrory and Keira Knightley.
       I'm hoping Carol Peletier from The Walking Dead TV series will play Anna in the zombie adaptation, which is bound to come sooner or later.

Vladimir Nabokov

NABAKOV'S COUNTERQUOTE:

“All happy families are more or less dissimilar; all unhappy ones are more or less alike.”
       Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977)
       Russian-born American novelist and entomologist 
       His response to Tolstoy’s famous line in the novel Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (1969)

Robert Fulford photo-8x6

FULFORD’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“It may be the silliest damn sentence ever set down by a great author, Leo Tolstoy’s opening of Anna Karenina...He got things backwards. Experience and literature both demonstrate that happy families come in all shapes and sizes, but the burdens of unhappy families (emotional indifference, poverty, alcoholism, irresponsibility) are painfully predictable.”
      
Robert Fulford
       Canadian journalist, broadcaster and editor
      
Comment in his weekly column for The National Post, August 2, 2005

John Pitcher
THE STARVING ARTISTS PRINCIPLE:

“To paraphrase Tolstoy, happy musicians are all the same. For the Taylor Swifts of this world, life is one big frosted cupcake. Wretched artists, however, are godforsaken each in their own way.”
       John Pitcher
       American classical music and dance critic
       In
a 2013 article about the Nashville Symphony Orchestra in on NashvilleScene.com

nickiminajatgrammy-8x6

THE GRAMMY RED CARPET VARIATION:

“To paraphrase the great fashion critic Leo Tolstoy, each of the terrible red carpet looks from the 2012 Grammy Awards were terrible in their own way. Sacrilegiously terrible: Nicki Minaj, who showed up in a blood red wimple and studded cloak with her own personal confessor. Turns out that was just a prelude to her performance art piece later in the night, ‘The Exorcism of Roman.’”
       Vicki Hyman
       American celebrity news journalist
       In
a post in her column on the The Star-Ledger website

Molly Ball-8x6

TOLSTOY’S FIRST RULE OF POLITICS:

“All winning campaigns are brilliant in hindsight — it’s Tolstoy’s First Rule of Politics (corollary: every losing campaign is dysfunctional in its own way).”
       Molly Ball 
       American journalist who writes regularly for The Atlantic and Politico.com  
       Her astute observation in
a February 1, 2012 post on The Atlantic website about the Presidential primary election

Image

THE STUFFED BREADSTICKS COROLLARY:

“I believe it was Tolstoy who once wrote, ‘Tasty fast food items are all alike; every crappy fast food item is crappy in its own way.’ To this principle I must add a corollary which shall forevermore be known as the Stuffed Breadsticks Corollary: …but some crappy fast food items are crappy IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.” 
      
“Jasper,” the online fast food critic and impulse buy reviewer 
       In his
April 11, 2011 review of the Dunkin’ Donuts Stuffed Breadsticks (Pepperoni & Cheese and Cheeseburger) on The Impulsive Buy website (known for “Putting the ‘ew’ in product reviews”)

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April 19, 2017

“Hell is other people” – and their taste in music…

Hell is quiz quotes FINAL

THE FAMOUS EXISTENTIALIST’S OPINION:

“Hell is other people.” (“L’enfer, c’est les Autres.”)
       Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
       French existential philosopher and writer and Marxist social activist
       This is the oft-quoted line from Sartre’s play No Exit (titled Huis Clos in French), spoken by the character Joseph Garcin. The play was first performed in French at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier theatre in Paris in May 1944. It was first performed in English at the Biltmore Theatre in New York City in 1946, using the translation by the renowned Beat writer and translator, Paul Bowles.  
       Bowles was a bit creative in his translation. “Huis clos” is a French idiomatic expression that’s similar to the English legal term “in camera,” meaning a judicial proceeding or discussion held in private. In fact, the play has sometimes been performed and filmed in English under the title In Camera.
       A more literal translation of “Huis Clos” would be “behind closed doors.” However, the play is best known by the title Bowles came up with. Apparently, it was a hellish translation challenge for him. In the biography Paul Bowles: A Life, he is quoted as saying: “I’m not very good at titles. It took me six weeks to get No Exit out of Huis Clos.”
       No Exit/Huis Clos is about the three doomed souls: a man, Joseph Garcin, and two women, Inès Serrano and Estelle Rigault. They are condemned to Hell for their sins. But instead of facing flames and torture, they are locked together in a room furnished in the Second French Empire style. (Hellish in itself!) There’s not much for them to do except talk about themselves and eventually deal with Estelle’s attempt to seduce Joseph.

French Church of Satan

THE DEVIL’S TAKE:

“Have you heard the expression ‘Hell is other people’? This is true, especially if the other people are French.”
       Satan (as quoted by writer David Katz)
       In a humorous “interview” with the Lord of Hell, “What I’ve Learned: Satan,” published in Esquire magazine, January 2007.

T.S. Eliot Cocktail Party play poster

T.S. ELIOT’S TAKE:

“What is hell? Hell is oneself,
  Hell is alone, the other figures in it
  Merely projections. There is nothing to escape from
  And nothing to escape to. One is always alone.”
       T.S. Eliot
(1888-1965)
       British poet and playwright
       Said by the character Edward Chamberlayne in Eliot’s play The Cocktail Party, first performed in 1949. In the play, Edward makes amends with his wife Lavinia at a party, after they’d split due to his infidelity. It was the most popular of Eliot’s seven plays in his lifetime.

The Heming Way book

THE ERNEST HEMINGWAY VARIATION:

“Hell isn’t other people; it’s other people when you’re sober.”
       Marty Beckerman

       American author
       In his very funny book The Heming Way, which spoofs Ernest Hemingway’s uber-manly attitudes and behavior. The subtitle is How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested Retro-Sexual Legend Within, Just Like Papa!

Wilson movie

THE POSITIVE SPIN VARIATION:

“Hell may be other people, but they’re all we’ve got.”
       Stephanie Zacharek
       Film critic for Time magazine
       Her encapsulation of the point of the movie Wilson (starring Woody Harrelson as the title character), in her review in Time, April 3, 2017. The film is based on the graphic novel by American cartoonist Daniel Clowes.

Li'l Bastard by David McGimpsey

THE MUSICAL TRUISM:

“Hell is other people’s taste in music.”
       David McGimpsey

       Canadian poet and novelist
       In his book of sonnets, Li’l Bastard (2011)

john guzlowski on Twitter

THE POLITICAL TRUISM

“Hell is other people’s politics.”
       John Guzlowski
 
       Polish-born American writer and poet
       His response on Twitter to a tweet by Quaint Magazine that said: “Throughout the next few days, we'll be reposting links to work we've published that speaks to the current political climate.”

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April 12, 2017

In space no one can hear you scream (or retch, or sigh, or…)

Alien movie poster

THE CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION HORROR MOVIE TAGLINE:

“In space no one can hear you scream.”
       The memorable marketing slogan used for the 1979 movie Alien 
       This famous tagline and the image of the alien egg used for posters and ads promoting Alien were created by Steve Frankfurt and Philip Gips, partners of the graphic design firm Frankfurt Gips Balkind (now In Sync Bemis Balkind). It has been repurposed, copied and parodied countless times ever since.

PASSENGERS movie poster 2016

THE SPACE STALKER MOVIE APPLICATION:

“In space, no one can hear you retch.”
       Barry Hertz
       Film critic for the UK Globe and Mail
       This is the pointed headline of his review of the 2016 science fiction movie Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, published in the Globe and Mail, December 20, 2016.
       “It’s Stockholm Syndrome masked as true love, and it is sickening,” Hertz said of the film’s plot. Most critics and women’s rights activists agreed. The film was widely-criticized as being cluelessly sexist. Why? In a nutshell, Pratt’s character finds himself to be the only crew member who’s awakened from cryogenic sleep on a spaceship taking a long voyage. He gets lonely, fixates Lawrence’s still-hibernating body and wakes her up. He lies to her by saying her revival was a pod malfunction, then woos her. In the minds of the spaced-out producers who greenlit Passengers, this was supposed to be a romantic storyline.

LIFE movie poster, 2017

THE SPACE MOVIE CLONE APPLICATION:

“Don’t let the very good cast fool you, this outer space adventure is just another Alien clone...In space, no one can hear you sigh with resignation.”
       Adam Graham
       Film critic at the Detroit News
       In his review of the science fiction movie Life, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds, published in the Detroit News, March 23, 2017.

Alien Covenant movie poster 2017

THE SPACE ALIEN SEQUEL APPLICATION:

“In space, no-one can hear you scream...except whatever it is that’s about to rip your chest apart.”
       Susan Arendt
       US Executive Editor for GamesRadar and Co-founder of TakeThis.org
       In her article on the GamesRadar site previewing the sixth movie in the Alien series, Alien Covenant (2017).  

Space Above and Beyond Boot Camp scene

THE SPACE MARINES VERSION:

“In space, no one can hear you scream – unless it is the battle cry of the United States Marines!”
       Line yelled at a group of rookie marines by Drill Sergeant Frank Bougus (played by actor R. Lee Ermey) in the boot camp scene in the first episode of the TV series Space: Above and Beyond, first aired on September 24, 1995. (One of my favorite science fiction TV shows, gone too soon after only one season.)

Danny Charnley tweet

THE CYBERSPACE POLITICAL HORROR VARIATION:

“in space, no one can hear your political views”
       Danny Charnley 
       American writer and comedian
In a Twitter tweet about the overabundance of idiotic political posts on sites like Twitter and Facebook. (A modern phenomenon that is scarier than most science fiction horror movies.)

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March 28, 2017

“The pen is mightier than the sword”


THE FAMOUS QUOTE BY A POLITICIAN/PLAYWRIGHT:

“Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword.”

       Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)
       British politician and playwright
       In his play Richelieu (1839) 
       Although Bulwer-Lytton’s line “The pen is mightier than the sword” is the most famous use and is often cited as the first, the basic concept was already proverbial and has many predecessors.

Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart

A SOLDIER’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.” 
       Adrian Carton de Wiart (1880-1963)
       British Army officer and war hero 
       In his autobiography, Happy Odyssey, first published in 1950 
       De Wiart’s comment undoubtedly reflects his experiences as a soldier in the Boer War, World War I and World War I. In the course of those conflicts, he lost his left eye, part of an ear, and his left hand. He is considered one of the bravest badasses in military history.

Matthew Russell

THE TWITTER APPLICATION:

“If the pen is mightier than the sword, what does that say about the tweet?”
       Matthew A. Russell
       American computer scientist and author
       An observation he made in his 2011 book Mining the Social Web. It seems even more prescient in view of the role Twitter has played in the rise and presidency of Donald Trump.

Steve Lonegan-8x6

CONSERVATIVE COUNTERQUOTE:

“We cannot allow the pen to be mightier than the sword!”
       Steve Lonegan 
       Republican politician who became Senior Policy Director for “Americans for Prosperity”
       Speaking against the Democrats’ proposed “Affordable Health Care Act” (a.k.a. “Obamacare”) at a December 15, 2009 “Tea Party” protest

Jon Stewart with Lonegan-8x6

JON STEWART’S COUNTER-COUNTERQUOTE:

“And, that is why, today, I’ve written my speech with my sword, and...We can’t let the pen be mightier than the sword [!?!] — because that’s ONLY THE BASIS OF OUR CIVILIZATION!
       Jon Stewart 
       American comedian and political satirist
       Making fun of Steve Lonegan’s quote on The Daily Show on December 16, 2009

Get Thee To a Punnery, Richard Lederer-8x6

THE PUNNIEST COUNTERQUOTE:

“The pun is mightier than the sword.” 
       Richard Lederer 
       American word and phrase maven, author, speaker, and teacher 
       One of the puns in his book Get Thee to a Punnery (1988)

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