Monday, July 03, 2006

Unquote of Note

The twitty trying to be witty ... - Some guy.

I was watching James Griffin interview Australian poet Dorothy Porter this morning. It was a profoundly unmemorable interview, but nevertheless, there was one moment I can recreate for you:

Porter: In the book, I use the universe as a metaphor for the human mind.

Griffin: Oscar Wilde said, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

People with no wit of their own seem to make it a habit to borrow wit from others. I've done it often enough myself. Barely a day goes by without someone repeating words from Seinfeld or The Simpsons or some other famous or not-so-famous television show. Apparently, even drooling is funny if you drool like Homer Simpson.
But it's another thing entirely to quote the words of a more memorable personality, like Griffin does here, in a completely random fashion, as if the discussion you were having didn't even matter. Imagine if I did this while on a date with a girl:

Girl: So, what sort of music do you like?

Tim: Oscar Wilde said, "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Girl: Um ... where did you say you came from again?

Tim: Shakespeare said, "Never, never, never, never, never!"

Girl: What the fucking hell are you talking about?

Tim: "By thy long grey beard, and glitt'ring eye/Wherefore stopp'st thou me?"- Coleridge.

Girl: (Slaps Tim in the face and leaves. )

Perhaps, when faced by people like Griffin who misquote people of more note, we should just apply the philosophy of Max in The Producers, and say to ourselves, "Shut up - he thinks he's witty". Or perhaps, just perhaps, we should look them in the eye, and give practical application to the old adage, telling them in the nicest possible way to kindly bugger off.


Caz said...

"The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument."

Milton Friedman

You'll find that your dates run more smoothly if you apply indirect rational argument.

TimT said...

If only Milton Friedman hadn't confined his genius to the economic fields, and had released 'A Liberterian economists guide to Love'.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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