Chamblee54

Fifteen Minutes

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes by chamblee54 on February 18, 2020

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Andy Warhol is quoted as saying that “in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” This has become a popular saying. If a celebrity is getting tiresome, people will wonder when their fifteen minutes will be up. After hearing about fifteen minutes his entire life, PG began to wonder if Drella really said that. If you can’t be cynical about Andy Warhol… This is a repost.

Wikipedia is a good place to start. “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” … appeared in the program for a 1968 exhibition of his work at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. Photographer Nat Finkelstein claimed credit for the expression, stating that he was photographing Warhol in 1966 for a proposed book. A crowd gathered trying to get into the pictures and Warhol supposedly remarked that everyone wants to be famous, to which Finkelstein replied, “Yeah, for about fifteen minutes, Andy.” Nat Finkelstein was a sketchy character, in the Warhol tradition. His version is suspect. The Swedish museum part is real.

“Andy Warhol’s first European museum solo show took place at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm from February through March 1968. Pontus Hultén curated the exhibition together with Olle Granath. The exhibition came with a catalogue that was, like the show, named ‘Andy Warhol’. Kasper König, who worked for the Moderna Museet as an intern of sorts in New York, developed a basic concept for the book. … After Warhol had given his approval to this first proposal, König proceeded to create a dummy. … When König returned his dummy to the Factory, Warhol scrutinized it carefully but made only a small number of changes. Contrary to what Warhol wanted to be popular belief, those who produced input at the Factory were carefully monitored. … The final edits on the dummy were made in Stockholm by Olle Granath. He compiled a small selection of Warhol quotes and aphorisms from a stack of books and clippings collected by Hultén and placed them in the book as an introduction before the image sections.”

“Sometime in the autumn of 1967, Pontus Hultén called and asked me if I (Olle Granath) could help him and the Moderna Museet to organize an Andy Warhol exhibition that was due to open in February…. An important part of the exhibition was the production of a book. It was not supposed to be an analytical catalog of Warhol’s work, but a book that conveyed his aesthetics without heavy texts. … One day, Pontus brought me a box, almost the size of a Brillo box, and told me that it contained everything written by and about Andy Warhol (today the equivalent would probably be two truck loads). My job was to read it all and present a proposal for a manuscript with Swedish translations. After a couple of nights of reading and taking notes I delivered a script to Pontus and awaited his reaction with great anticipation. ‘Excellent,’ Pontus said when he called me, ‘but there is a quotation missing.’ ‘Which one?’ I said. ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,’ Pontus replied. ‘If it is in the material I would have spotted it,’ I told him. The line went quiet for a moment, and then I heard Pontus say, ‘If he didn’t say it, he could very well have said it. Let’s put it in.’ So we did, and thus Warhol’s perhaps most famous quotation became a fact.”

“The exhibition in Stockholm attracted a relatively small number of visitors, due to the extremely cold winter, but also to the fact that leftist radicalization increasingly drove the Museets public to mistrust anything American or consumerist. There was no space yet for a more complex reading of Warhol’s relation to consumption. The book, however, became very popular: its enormous edition allowed it to be distributed in nightclubs and record stores, not only museums. A timeless update on the latest from New York, it first became a cult object, then a collectors item.”

Did Andy say that? Probably, but not definitely. Andy was shot by Valerie Jean Solanas on June 3, 1968, a few months after the show in Sweden. Andy survived, and had fifteen more minutes. Pictures today are from Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The 1927 pictures were taken at “California Beauty Week, Mark Hopkins Hotel, July 28 to Aug. 2, auspices of San Francisco Chronicle.”

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TED Talk Google Adventure

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes, The Internet by chamblee54 on February 11, 2020


TED sends me emails, recommending talks. This week, it was The real story of Rosa Parks — and why we need to confront myths about black history. I felt like listening, and clicked on the link.

David Ikard was the TED-talker. His son came home from school, having learned a lesson about Rosa Parks. Unfortunately, he was taught the version where Mrs. Parks is an old lady, whose feet hurt. The truth is that the protest had been planned.

Dr. Ikard was offended that his son was taught the incorrect version of the story. He wanted to have a conference with the teacher. The transcript tells what happens next. “So I’m agonizing over this, primarily because I understand, as an African-American man, that whenever you talk to whites about racism or anything that’s racially sensitive, there’s usually going to be a challenge. This is what white sociologist Robin DiAngelo calls “white fragility.” She argues that, in fact, because whites have so little experience being challenged about their white privilege that whenever even the most minute challenge is brought before them, they usually cry, get angry or run.” At this point, I decided not to listen to any more of the talk.

I got curious about how this turned out. His son taught his own lesson to the class. The teacher saw the error of her ways. That part of the talk has a happy ending. Unfortunately, the talk has eight minutes to go. Dr. Ikard tells another story. If you want to hear this story, you can listen to the talk.

After the second story, Dr. Ikard is talking about race relations in general. He repeats a quote. “Toni Morrison said, “If, in order for you to be tall, I have to be on my knees, you have a serious problem.” She says, “White America has a serious, serious problem.”

I have never read any of Ms. Morrison’s books. I have heard an interview on CBS radio, and seen a couple of videos. The “If, in order for you…” quote sounds like something she might say. However, I wanted to know the context. How did she come to say that?

I highlight the quote, right click, select google search. The only results that I saw, in English, were the TED talk. The next step is to find the Wikiquotes page for Toni Morrison. Control A, Control C, click onto a blank word document, Control V. Save the document as Morrison, to be put in a quote database later. Next, hit Control F. Write a search term in the field, and see what you find. After using tall, knees, order, and serious, as search items, the quote does not appear. It is possible that Ms. Morrison did say that sentence, but, for our purposes, it is not verified.

This is not the first time a Toni Morrison quote has caught my attention. A few years ago, a facebook friend posted a video of Ms. Morrison on the Charlie Rose show. I asked the fbf if he had a link for the video, for which he replied “Google it, sir.” It turns out that the video used creative editing, and did not accurately represent what Ms. Morrison said.

This is the problem with saying “Google it.” A search engine is going to show the searcher information that you might not want them to see. Besides that, saying “Google it” is rude. If you post something on facebook, or a TED talk, you should show where you get your information.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Conversations I Am Tired Of Having

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Quotes, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on January 23, 2020

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There was a post a while back, 10 Conversations On Racism I’m Sick Of Having With White People The original started at The Chronicle, but LiveJournal is kind of weird, so a mirror image will have to do. There are comments, at the sourced post, that illustrate some of the points covered today.

I got to thinking about “10 Conversations”, and a reply began to take shape. I started a list of conversations the I am tired of having, and before you could say affirmative action, there were a dozen items. Many of these incidents have involved people of color, or POC. Many others have not. Often, the ethnicity of the other person has little importance to the discussion. Therefore, the title of this feature will not be racially specific. This monolog will probably not go viral, or even bacterial. Washing your hands might be a good idea when you are finished reading.

Meetings where one person does all the talking The word conversation implies that more than one person says something. Often, this does not happen. One person will talk for a while. Before person two finishes a sentence, person one will interrupt them.

This does not work. When the other person is talking, shut up and listen. Don’t be thinking of your clever comeback, but pay attention to what the other person is saying. What the other person says is just as important as what you say.

Listening is not valued in our culture. It is seen as a loss of control, a sign of weakness. It is really a sign of strength. If you are weak, you don’t want to allow the other person to say anything. Have you ever heard anyone boast about the clever things that they say to someone? Of course you have, just like you never hear anyone talk highly about himself because he is a good listener.

My question is not an excuse to make a speech. Some people have an agenda. Whatever you say is an obstacle to the message they want to broadcast. When you ask a question, some people think you are handing them the talking stick, to do whatever they want. When your eyes glaze over, they plow on, in total disregard to your discomfort, and lack of comprehension. It is almost as if they are talking to hear the sound of their own voice.

I’m not talking to you. If you are screaming something, anyone with earshot can hear you. Do not get offended if there is a reaction to your words, especially if it is subtly directed at the person you are not talking to. This applies to the internet as well, where all of humanity is *privy* to your innermost thoughts. Keep the farmyard meaning of *privy* in mind when sharing your innermost product.

Conversations should be with people. If you are a business, and you want to tell me something, send me a written message. Please refrain from using robocall machines. I feel very foolish talking to a machine, especially one that doesn’t understand southern english.

You don’t have to shout. The amount of truth in a statement is not increased by the volume of expression. If you are standing next to me, the odds are I can hear you in a normal tone of voice. If you are across the room, come stand next to me, rather than shout across the room. If your normal tone of voice is shouting, then you have a problem.

The same principal goes to controlling your temper. When you choose not to control your temper, you show disrespect to yourself, and the person you are talking to. There is no situation that cannot be made worse by angry speech.

Privilege Racial polemic is getting more subtle these days. We are not quite post racial, although there are rumors of a PostRacial apartment complex. The phrase that pays these days is Privilege. This is always something owned by the group you do not belong to. Last summer, I heard this quote in a discussion, and nearly fell out of my chair.

This is getting longer than the attention span of many readers. It might be continued at a later date. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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I’ll Furnish The War

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, Undogegorized, War by chamblee54 on January 9, 2020


“You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” – WR Hearst, January 25, 1898 It is part of the Hearst legend. “Frederic Sackrider Remington, the famous artist who brought to life American images of the west, was hired by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst to illustrate the revolution erupting in Cuba. He wrote back to Hearst one day in January 1897: “Everything is quiet. There is no trouble. There will be no war. I wish to return.” Hearst sent back a note: “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Chamblee54 readers should know where this is going to go.

Mr. Remington was sent to Cuba, along with correspondent Richard Harding Davis, to cover the rebellion against the Spanish colonial government. At the time of this purported exchange, the conflict between Spain, and the Cuban rebels, was rather lively. This is at odds with the initial comment by Mr. Remington. One item which modern observers will find odd is the fact that Mr. Remington drew pictures. He was not a photographer. Apparently, in 1897 journalism, a hand drawing was acceptable evidence of a conflict.

Not likely sent: The Remington-Hearst “telegrams” is a thorough debunking of this legend. The source of the legend is “James Creelman, On the Great Highway: The Wanderings and Adventures of a Special Correspondent. (Boston: Lothrop Publishing, 1901), 177-178.” “Creelman does not … describe how or when he learned about the supposed Remington-Hearst exchange. In any case, it had to have been second-hand because Creelman was in Europe in early 1897, as the Journal’s “special commissioner” on the Continent.”

“It is improbable that such an exchange of telegrams would have been cleared by Spanish censors in Havana. So strict were the censors that dispatches from American correspondents reporting the war in Cuba often were taken by ship to Florida and transmitted from there.”

… correspondence of Richard Harding Davis — the war correspondent with whom Remington traveled on the assignment to Cuba — contains no reference to Remington’s wanting to leave because “there will be no war.” Rather, Davis in his letters gave several other reasons for Remington’s departure, including the artist’s reluctance to travel through Spanish lines to reach the Cuban insurgents. … Davis’ letters show that he had little regard for the rotund, slow-moving Remington, whom he called “a large blundering bear.”

The purported Remington-Hearst exchange, moreover, appears not to have been particularly important or newsworthy at the time … the anecdote seems to have provoked almost no discussion or controversy until a correspondent for the Times of London mentioned it in a dispatch from New York in 1907. He wrote: “Is the Press of the United States going insane? . . . A letter from William Randolph Hearst is in existence and was printed in a magazine not long ago. It was to an artist he had sent to Cuba, and who reported no likelihood of war. —You provide the pictures, I’ll provide the war.'”

“Hearst, indignant about the report, replied in a letter to the Times. He described as “frankly false” and “ingeniously idiotic” the claim “that there was a letter in existence from Mr. W. R. Hearst in which Mr. Hearst said to a correspondent in Cuba: —You provide the pictures and I will provide the war,’ and the intimation that Mr. Hearst was chiefly responsible for the Spanish war. … “This kind of clotted nonsense could only be generally circulated and generally believed in England, where newspapers claiming to be conservative and reliable are the most utterly untrustworthy of any on earth. In apology for these newspapers it may be said that their untrustworthiness is not always to intention but more frequently to ignorance and prejudice.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

What Is A Cynic?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 13, 2019


“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” ― Oscar Wilde. This quote is one of Oscar’s greatest hits. If you think about it for a minute, it is not totally accurate. You are not supposed to think. Quoting Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde is about sounding clever, not making sense. Did he really create that definition of a cynic?

Oscar Wilde is a quote magnet. This is more than something you put on your refrigerator. When people hear something clever, odds are good that Oscar will get the blame. As Dorothy Parker wrote: “If, with the literate, I am, Impelled to try an epigram, I never seek to take the credit; We all assume that Oscar said it. [Life Magazine, June 2, 1927]”

Wikiquote says this line is from Act III of Lady Windermere’s Fan. It was spoken by Lord Darlington. Did the play write intend for the line to be taken seriously, or was he making the character look foolish by saying it? With Oscar Wilde, it could be both of these things at the same time.

Principle Four, of the four principles of quotations, reads “Only quote from works that you have read.” In the case of Lady Windemere’s Fan, this would mean a youtube video of the play. There is a posh BBC production available. You don’t have to watch the cell phone recording of high school players.

Lady Windemere’s Fan is a production where upper class Brits say clever things in glorious costumes. Nobody ever goes to the bathroom, or looks less than perfect. Lady Windemere’s six month old child is neither seen, nor heard. Lady Windemere finds out her husband, Lord Windemere, is having an affair with a Mrs. Erlynne. The Lord proceeds to invite the floozy to Lady Windemere’s birthday party.

After the party, the men go to their club, then to Lord Darlington’s room. There are five men in the conversation, beginning with Lord Windemere. Lord Darlington has just told Lady Windemere that he loves her, and wants her to run off with him. Lady Windemere said no. Lord Augustus is a suitor of Mrs. Erlynne, and is begging her to marry him. Cecil Graham, and Mr. Dumby, wear their splendid costumes with conviction.

The scene starts with the men saying clever things, most of them insulting to someone. Lord Augustus, or Tuppy, is the butt of many jokes. Before long, we get this exchange:
Dumby. I don’t think we are bad. I think we are all good, except Tuppy.
Lord Darlington. No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Dumby. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars? Upon my word, you are very romantic to-night, Darlington.
Cecil Graham. Too romantic! You must be in love. Who is the girl?
Lord Darlington. The woman I love is not free, or thinks she isn’t. [Glances instinctively at Lord Windermere while he speaks.]

A few minutes later, we hear another famous Oscarism.
Lord Darlington. What cynics you fellows are!
Cecil Graham. What is a cynic? [Sitting on the back of the sofa.]
Lord Darlington. A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Cecil Graham. And a sentimentalist, my dear Darlington, is a man who sees an absurd value in everything, and doesn’t know the market price of any single thing.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

About That Ta-Nehisi Coates Video

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes, Race, Religion by chamblee54 on November 30, 2019


So there is this video, Ta-Nehisi Coates on words that don’t belong to everyone It is being praised to high heaven. PG has some issues with this entertainment. The transcript is from vox, Ta-Nehisi Coates has an incredibly clear explanation for why white people shouldn’t use the n-word. This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.

TNC gave an interview once, The Playboy Interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates. (The link no longer works.) “The n$$$$$ thing? I understand if you’re black and you say, “Man, I had white people call me this shit all my life. They called me this shit when they hit me upside the head, and I don’t want to hear it.” I understand that. But that ain’t everybody’s experience. I’ve never had a white person call me a n$$$$$. I had somebody call me le négre here in France, but I was 38 years old and I couldn’t have cared less. It didn’t mean anything. So not all of us come out of that experience.”

The monolog starts off with a discussion about how some words are appropriate for some people to use, but others should not say them. “My wife, with her girl friend, will use the word bitch. I do not join in. You know what I’m saying? I don’t do that. I don’t do that. And perhaps more importantly, I don’t have a desire to do it.” The question arises: is his wife a four legged dog? Unless she is, then the b-word does not apply to her.

“Coates pointed to another example — of a white friend who used to have a cabin in upstate New York that he called “the white trash cabin.” “I would never refer to that cabin” in that way. I would never tell him, ‘I’m coming to your white trash cabin.’” Of course, a person with an upstate cabin is likely to be far removed from the trailer park. He is using *white trash* with irony, and would not be the least offended if TNC called it “the white trash cabin.”

“The question one must ask is why so many white people have difficulty extending things that are basic laws of how human beings interact to black people.” (Is TNC saying that black people are not human beings?) … “When you’re white in this country, you’re taught that everything belongs to you. You think you have a right to everything. … You’re conditioned this way. It’s not because your hair is a texture or your skin is light. It’s the fact that the laws and the culture tell you this. You have a right to go where you want to go, do what you want to do, be however — and people just got to accommodate themselves to you.”

At this point, PG turned off the video in anger. He has never been taught that everything belongs to him. Nobody that PG knows has been taught that. PG does not know anyone who teaches that message. This is a lie. It makes PG not want to believe anything else that TNC says. Maybe there is some privilege/culture mumbo-jumbo that explains this concept.

Lets go back a minute to the white trash cabin. TNC does not want to use this phrase. And yet, he feels entitled to make a sweeping generalization like “When you’re white in this country, you’re taught that everything belongs to you.” It is wrong to say white trash, but ok to slander white people.

“So here comes this word that you feel like you invented, And now somebody will tell you how to use the word that you invented. ‘Why can’t I use it? Everyone else gets to use it. You know what? That’s racism that I don’t get to use it. You know, that’s racist against me. You know, I have to inconvenience myself and hear this song and I can’t sing along. How come I can’t sing along?’”

“The experience of being a hip-hop fan and not being able to use the word ‘ni**er’ is actually very, very insightful.” To begin with, why do you assume that PG is a hip hop fan? Many white people think hip hop is garbage. And so, if you are forced to listen to music that you don’t like, how does that make you want to use a word that degrades the user? The logic of TNC is falling apart faster than the Falcons pass defense in the Super Bowl.

“It will give you just a little peek into the world of what it means to be black. Because to be black is to walk through the world and watch people doing things that you cannot do, that you can’t join in and do. So I think there’s actually a lot to be learned from refraining.”

If you are in the mood to get yelled at for a half hour, you can ask someone about “things that you cannot do, that you can’t join in and do.” There might be some. If you go along with the rhetoric so far, you will probably believe what you hear. You might even understand why not using a nasty word will give you “a little peek into the world of what it means to be black.” As for PG, he seriously doubts this. He is not someone who says that this video is “an incredibly clear explanation for why white people shouldn’t use the n-word.”


Once upon a time, cigarettes were advertised on television. One new brand was a cigarette for women, Virginia Slims. The ability to kill yourself with tobacco was presented as being a privilege. Some wondered why women would want to take up this filthy habit. Today, African Americans have the privilege of using the n-word. What a deal. A nasty word, which degrades both the speaker, and the spoken of. Why would anyone want to use that word?

If you don’t have anything good to say, you can talk about the n-word. This *trigger* word is an aphrodisiac for the american body politic. Recently Ta-Nehisi Coates performed in a video, Ta-Nehisi Coates on words that don’t belong to everyone There is much praise for this entertainment, like this: @SneakerWonk “#TaNehisiCoates has an incredibly clear #explanation for why #whitepeople shouldnt use the #nword.” PG has a few paragraphs, about this video, in the text above.

PG has written about racism, anti-racism, and racial attitudes on many occasions. People get angry, and call PG rude names. He must be doing something right. Later, there was a double feature about James Baldwin. In the first half, Mr. Baldwin expresses a few opinions about that word. In the second half, PG substituted racist for the magic word, with interesting results.

One item that keeps coming up is speculation about who invented the n-word. Negro means black in Spanish, and is derived from a latin word. The Oxford English Dictionary has some usages going back to 1577. “1577 E. Hellowes tr. A. de Guevara Familiar Epist. (new ed.) 389 The Massagetes bordering vpon the Indians, and the Nigers of Aethiop [Sp. los negros en Ethiopia], bearing witnesse. ~ 1584 R. Scot Discouerie Witchcraft vii. xv. 153 A skin like a Niger. ~ 1608 A. Marlowe Let. 22 June in E. India Co. Factory Rec. (1896) I. 10 The King and People [of ‘Serro Leona’] N$$$$$$, simple and harmless.

The TNC video is based on the concept that white people want to use the magic word, but should not. This assumes a great deal. Chamblee54 published a piece about the n-word, that spelled out why he does not like to use this noun/verb/adjective/adverb/interjection. Here are four reasons for a white person to refrain from saying america’s favorite dirty word.

1- The n-word hurts people’s feelings. PG has known many fine Black people. He does not want to say anything that will hurt these people.
2- Being heard saying the n-word can cause all sorts of problems. This can include physical retribution, loss of employment, lawsuits, and having to listen to enough loud angry words to make you wish you had never learned how to talk.
3- It is not a fair fight. There is no equivalent phrase for a Black Person to say to a White person. Why give that power to another group of people … to turn you into a mass of incoherent rage, just for hearing a six letter word. The closest thing is “Cracker”, which PG only recently found out was an insult. There used to be a minor league baseball team, the Atlanta Crackers.
4- The use of the n-word demeans the user. When you say an insulting word about another human being, you make yourself look bad. For a Black person, using the n-word degrades them as the object, as well as the speaker. Why would a person would want to do that?

Did Socrates Read And Write?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes by chamblee54 on November 17, 2019

This story starts with a facebook meme. A fbf posted a picture of a thoughtful statue. The text read ‘When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.’ -Socrates. PG thought that Socrates never wrote anything that survived. All of what we attribute to Socrates was written by Plato. People reading this blog should know what happened next.
Did Socrates Say Slander Is ‘The Tool of the Losers”? is one of several results. They all said the same thing … the quote is bogus. A tweet from Eric Trump is not evidence of authenticity.

PG began to think, which is never a good sign. Was Socrates able to read and write? was on the screen a few minutes later. The speculation is mixed. Some say that that Socrates was stone illiterate.

Thomas Musselman “Socrates served in the government on juries. Historians now know that legal proceedings were common over business matters of great sophistication and the the juries were well-educated concerning such matters. General literacy existed by the late 400s BC for the general pubic in primary school. Upper class males even in Socrates’ day would have been literate and there was an active book-seller market. To function in the world that Socrates functioned in required literacy.”

The google search turned up a curious document. It is a passage written by Plato,“Phaedrus.” Pp. 551-552 in Compete Works. An Egyptian G-d is talking to a King, about his invention … writing.

“In fact, it (writing) will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practice using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others, instead of trying to remember from the inside, completely on their own. You have not discovered a potion for remembering, but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not with its reality. Your invention will enable them to hear many things without being properly taught, and they will imagine that they have come to know much while for the most part they will know nothing. And they will be difficult to get along with, since they will merely appear to be wise instead of really being so.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Part two is after the break.


A facebook friend posted a meme. It had an picture of Bertrand Russell, quoted as saying “If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” PG consulted with Mr. Google, and had his answer in seconds.

“From the wikiquotes page of Anatole France Si 50 millions de personnes disent une bêtise, c’est quand même une bêtise. If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. As quoted in Listening and Speaking : A Guide to Effective Oral Communication (1954) by Ralph G. Nichols and Thomas R. Lewis, p. 74. Misattributed to Bertrand Russell, by Laurence J. Peter, in The Peter Prescription : How To Make Things Go Right (1976), but he subsequently attributed to France in Peter’s Quotations: Ideas for Our Time (1977).”

“As I’ve said on many occasions, I don’t care who a quote is (mis)attributed to. I share a meme because its message resonates for me.” PG “If a million facebook users post a misattributed quote, it is still a misattributed quote … I have this vague sense that it does make a difference, but I can’t find the words to say why. Maybe google will have a snappy quote, preferably in English, that will give me a reason why correct attribution matters.”

“With google available, it is so, so easy to verify a quote before you post it. Often, the context of the quote puts a different shade on the meaning. Like the quote above. I have no idea why Mr. France said that, or what he meant. Sometimes, the words come from a foolish character in a story, and the author is making fun of them. Since I do not read French, I do not know how accurate the translation is.” (Google translate says “If 50 million people say stupidity, it’s still a stupidity.”)

“There is a famous quote from Ben Franklin about security and liberty. The quote is totally legitimate. It is taken from an Editorial Mr. Franklin was paid to write. The editorial supported the colonial government, in their efforts to levy a tax on farmers.”

The Ben Franklin post linked above has a useful link. “‘Contextomy’ refers to the selective excerpting of words from their original linguistic context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning, also known as ‘quoting out of context’. Contextomy is employed in contemporary mass media to promote products, defame public figures and misappropriate rhetoric. A contextomized quotation not only prompts audiences to form a false impression of the source’s intentions, but can contaminate subsequent interpretation of the quote when it is restored to its original context.”

Another chamblee54 post, about a dubious quote, refers to the Four Principles of Quotation. Principle 1 Whenever you see a quotation given with an author but no source assume that it is probably bogus. Principle 2 Whenever you see a quotation given with a full source assume that it is probably being misused, unless you find good evidence that the quoter has read it in the source. Principle 3 Whenever you make a quotation, give the exact source. Principle 4 Only quote from works that you have read.

This does not answer the question… is it WRONG to put the incorrect name at the bottom of a quote? Sharing a meme on facebook is not the same as putting a goofy quote in a term paper. While this is something that PG is loath to do, is it really that bad for someone else? Certainly there are concerns about context. Memes often do not use the quote as the author would have intended.

After a few frustrating search terms, PG decided to google “I don’t care who a quote is (mis)attributed to. I share a meme because its message resonates for me.” Google replied “Did you mean: I don’t care who a quote is (mis)attributed to. I share a meme because it’s message resonates for me” Apparently, Google does not know that the possesive form of its does not have an apostrophe. It’s is short for it is.

There were some lively results, though few answered the key question. “Furthermore, and this does bear mentioning, Andy Rooney did not write this. He died in 2011 so the words in the post, “let’s make 2019/2020 the year the silent majority is heard,” is ridiculous.” “Ever since the quote’s real author emerged, there’s been a lively discussion on Facebook about whether it even matters who said it – as long as someone said it.”

One result typifies the entire commodity wisdom catalog. Best Inspirational Quotes For Killer Social Media Posts There is a pop-up ad that will not go away. “149 Inspirational Quotes: Free PDF! Want to inspire your friends and followers with uplifting words? Grab my collection of 149 short quotes that are just the right length for social media posts, PLUS tips on how to make and post them! Sign up now and you’ll have the free PDF in a flash” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

The Scarlet R

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes, Race by chamblee54 on October 11, 2019

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Bloggingheads.tv released another chat featuring Glenn Loury and John McWhorter. With election days 35 days away, there was lots of talk about Donald and Hillary. It only took 1:44, in episode 44020, to learn what is expected. The assignment is to call DJT a racist, and lament what a terrible thing that is. This is what passes for political discourse in 2016.

At 3:28, there was an aha moment. The line was that DJT, instead of an orange haired ogre, was really just a seventh grade bully. When PG was in seventh grade, there was a mean person who gave him problems. This individual is now a facebook friend, and regularly posts memes supporting DJT. PG likes to know what the “other side” thinks. Ignoring the memes is always an option.

At 9:22, the importance of identifying racism in others is stressed. This is said to totally justify the appeal of DJT. Once you call someone a racist, you no longer have to work to understand their motives. When the scarlet R is super glued to somebody, that is all you need to know.

The Scarlet Letter is the rip roaring tale of Hester Prynne. She got caught fooling around, and had the scarlet A, for adultery, pinned to her chest. It was pinned to her chest, and she could see who did the pinning. In today’s “woke” world, the scarlet R, for racist, is super glued to the back of the terrible person. The person never knows who gave them this dreaded, irrevocable, label.

At 21:28, John tells an amusing story. He was talking to a well meaning white woman, said to be helpful in selling more books. At some point, the woman felt obligated to say that “we don’t like to talk about race.” John was too polite to laugh in her face.

The truth is, of course, that talking about race is the new national pastime. Does anyone listen? In all that talk, is anything worthwhile said? These questions are considered rude, and probably racist.

At 31:09, John said the n word. It is not known whether it ended with -er, or with -a. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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Seven Brilliant Quotes

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes by chamblee54 on September 25, 2019











There is a little graphic floating around, Seven Brilliant Quotes. Some find these sayings to be inspirational. PG smells a rat. Here are the seven quotes:

William Shakespeare – Never play with the feelings of others because you may win the game but the risk is that you will surely lose the person for a life time.
Napoleon Bonaparte – The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.
Albert Einstein – I am thankful to all those who said NO to me. Its because of them I did it myself.
Abraham Lincoln – If friendship is your weakest point then you are the strongest person in the world.
Martin Luther King Jr. – We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.
Mahatma Gandhi – The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Abdul Kalaam – It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.

If nothing else, research into the veracity of these quotes should provide some amusing text to go between the pictures. When you go looking in the land of google, there is no telling what you will find. During this expedition, the first page rule will be in effect. Only results on the first google page will be considered. The NB quote has 1.7 million results, which is too much work.

Lets begin with Willie the shake. Did he really say “Never play with the feelings of others because you may win the game but the risk is that you will surely lose the person for a life time.”? Or, as they say in the Yahoo village, Does anyone know where this Shakespeare quote comes from?

hugeshantz Does anyone know where this Shakespeare quote comes from? I’ve seen this quote all over the internet, always attributed to Shakespeare, but I can’t find a legitimate source of where it comes from (i.e. a specific sonnet, play, speech, etc.): “Never play….” Can anyone help me out here?

Dude the Obscure This is 20th/21st century psychobabble. Shakespeare never wrote anything remotely resembling that. Please never trust any of these idiotic “internet quote sites.” They are all, all, all crap. I can’t believe that any intelligent person could think for a minute that this was written by Shakespeare. Really. Get some critical-thinking skills, child.

The next quote is by Napoleon Bonaparte, not Napoleon Dynamite. “The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.”

Before we consider the veracity of this quote, lets consider two things. NB did not speak english, so there is likely to be translation confusion. Second, the wars NB started caused widepread suffering. Little of this suffering was caused by the silence of good people.

The sources on page one do little except show the quote, usually with the credit going to NB. No one shows when or where he said it, or in what context. Brainyquotes doea not show it on the NB pages.

Number three is from Albert Einstein.” I am thankful to all those who said NO to me. Its because of them I did it myself.” According to Shelly Winters, Marilyn Monroe did not say no to Dr. Einstein. Google has a doozy of a forum, Misquoting Einstein?.

Jimmy Snyder says the quote has been attributed to Dorothy Parker, Yogi Berra, William Shakespeare, The Bible, Benjamin Franklin, and Groucho Marx. This is a clue that the quote is bogus.

zoobyshoe’s I just found this an another wiki page discussing the quote page: “I am thankful …” This is being attributed to Einstein on the Internet, but it appears to come from Wayne W. Dyer’s book You’ll See It When You Believe It, page 54, according to Google Books. Dyer does not attribute it to Einstein, but mentions Einstein in the same paragraph. “In my office I have two framed posters. One is a picture of Albert Einstein, beneath which are the words “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” The other poster is made up solely of words: “I am grateful to all those people who said no. It is because of them I did it myself.” Great thoughts!”

Ryan_m_b’s “Never believe quotes you read on the internet” – Winston Churchill zoobyshoe’s His actual words were: “The internet has nothing to offer, but blood, tears, toil, and misquotes.”

It should not be surprising that Winston Churchill finds his way into this discussion. He has a taste for the spotlight, even 47 years after his demise. He is an example of how truthiness is sometimes all you need. His most famous speech was a radio address during a bad part of World War Two. The speech was read by an actor. England was inspired, and went on to win the war. Why should anyone worry if an actor gave his speech for him?

This is enough fun for one day. There will be a part two soon, and it will probably be full of number two. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.











Welcome to part two of the Chamblee54 due diligence report on the Seven Brilliant Quotes. In part one, we checked out the first three. At no time was a source for the quote found. All three are suspect, with “misunderstanding” indicated in the Albert Einstein quote. It is amazing how quickly accepted these sayings are by the inspiration hungry public.

Getting back to business, did Abraham Lincoln say “If friendship is your weakest point then you are the strongest person in the world.” There are lots of links to this quote, in a variety of fonts and colors. Some have spectacular photography in the background. However, none of these links has a source for this quote, or any indication of the context.

Wikiquotes has 43,444 words about Abraham Lincoln. PG copied these words, and did a search for the word “friendship”. The quote from the poster was not found. The meme is missing. This wikiquotes test has been very useful for checking out quotes. It is not authoritative, but is a good place to start.

This type of research can be frustrating. Being inspired by beautiful words can give you strength and purpose. It can also make you feel foolish, when the lovely words are revealed to be lies. Being a cynic gets lonely. Children of all ages don’t like to be told that there is no Santa Claus.

The good news is that number five is for real. Martin Luther King gave a speech at Western Michigan University in 1963. There is a probably his standard speech, given many times. The second section of the speech is “Call for action.”

“The world in which we live is geographically one. Now we are challenged to make it one in terms of brotherhood. Now through our ethical and moral commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. This is the great challenge of the hour. This is true of individuals. It is true of nations. No individual can live alone. No nation can live alone.”

“I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. [W]e’re challenged after working in the realm of ideas, to move out into the arena of social action and to work passionately and unrelentingly to make racial justice a reality.”

“[W]e must never substitute a doctrine of Black supremacy for white supremacy. For the doctrine of Black supremacy is as dangerous as white supremacy. God is not interested merely in the freedom of black men and brown men and yellow men but God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race, the creation of a society where all men will live together as brothers.”

PG has written about the problem of quoting Mohandas Gandhi before. Supposedly he said “I love your Christ, but I dislike your Christianity.” PG thinks this is a fabrication.

The quote on the poster is “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Wikiquotes has a link to Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Online. The next stop is page 302 of this section. Mr. Gandhi gave an “Interview to the press” in Karachi, on March 26, 1931. A freedom fighter named Bhagat Singh had been executed by the British three days earlier.

Do you not think it impolitic to forgive a government which has been guilty of a thousand murders?
I do not know a single instance where forgiveness has been found so wanting as to be impolitic.
But no country has ever shown such forgiveness as India is showing to Britain?
That does not affect my reply. What is true of individuals is true of nations. One cannot forgive too much. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

The bottom line is from Dr. Abdul Kalam. (The name is misspelled on the poster.) The phrase is “It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.” Many viewers have no idea who this person is. Once again, Wikiquotes comes to the rescue. “Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (born 15 October 1931) Indian scientist and engineer; 11th President of India; generally referred to as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.” The quotes are from Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam.

A search for the word “defeat” did not show results. A search for “win” shows a few, but not the poster child. The phrase on the poster is also credited to John Keats. There is also the story of the student who argues with an atheist professor, and ultimately wins. The student is sometimes said to be Albert Einstein. In this version, Argumnent : What, Who is GOD?, the coda is “This seems to be a true story, and the student was none other than APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India “.

The research for part one consisted of entering the quote into a search engine. It was not until the Lincoln investigation that the method of copying wikiquote, and searching for a key word, was discovered. Out of a sense of fairness, the first three quotes will be investigated using this method.

For William Shakespeare, the search word was risk. There were no results. For Napoleon Bonaparte, the search word was violence. There was one result. “There is no such thing as an absolute despotism; it is only relative. A man cannot wholly free himself from obligation to his fellows, and not the one on the poster. For Albert Einstein, the search word was thankful. There were no results.

So, there are seven quotes in the motivational poster. Only two of the seven have a apparent source. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost. This version is edited, out of concern for the attention span of the audience.










An Old Farmer’s Advice

Posted in GSU photo archive, Quotes, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on September 12, 2019

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Many of you have heard “An Old Farmer’s Advice”. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong. Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled. Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight. Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you. It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge. You cannot unsay a cruel word. Every path has a few puddles. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty. The best sermons are lived, not preached. Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway. Don’t judge folks by their relatives. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time. Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none. Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got. The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’. Always drink upstream from the herd. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in. If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to G-d!

Know one knows who the old farmer is, or what he grew. Some say he really worked in an office writing ads for Massey Ferguson. Some say he had a bull farm, and believed in the product. In this age of industrial strength commodity wisdom, or glurge, the first reaction of some is to look to google. In this case, you can go to a forum at Snopes. No one claims to be the grandson of the old farmer.

My father in law is an old farmer. He’s given me some advice. It was more like: Don’t try to fix a broken porchlight in a rainstorm. corrolary: Disconnect power to the sprinkler system before fiddling with the wiring. If you wear longer socks, the chiggers won’t bite you. Cool Whip makes everything taste better. Do whatever your mother in law says.

quote: A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. ~ Yeah, but you try getting a bumble bee to plow your fields. With the tiny little plows attached to their wings, it could take days.

quote: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly… ~ And above all else, verb adverbly … There’s my problem, I’ve been living deeply, loving simply and speaking generously.

quote: Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. ~ I’m not sure of the lesson here…you should leave a bunch of tree stumps in your farm fields? But then you lose valuable real estate, the crops have to compete with the tree roots, and combine harvesting is significantly more dangerous. Maybe, if you take just a little time to remove the stump properly, it pays dividends and saves you time and energy in the long run. … But life is a lot cooler, and more productive if you go down to the general store, buy a few blasting caps, and blow that mother to kingdom come.

The sentiments aren’t too bad, but they missed “Now get orf moy laaand!” from the end…

quote:Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway. ~ Oh, so I shouldn’t worry about not being able outrun a bumble bee on my John Deere tractor? Thanks.

quote: Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. ~ But not when the waitress is asking what you’d like on your pizza. … Unless the question is “what’s the maximum decibel level a human can stand.” … Especially if you are passive-aggressive.

quote: Always drink upstream from the herd. ~ But, unless your at the absolute source of the river, there’s always another herd further upstream.

This reminds me of the episode of Frasier where he first got paired up with the Standard Issue Sassy Black Woman (SISBW) who kept trotting out mindless aphorisms from her fictional uncle. Never have I felt so much sympathy for the character.

quote: The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’. ~ I knew it. I knew that SOB had a camera in there. I’m going to the police.

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How To Choose A Guru

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes, Religion by chamblee54 on September 7, 2019








PG has reread How to choose a guru, by Rick Chapman. The book is a look at spirituality of all sorts, with a special emphasis on Meher Baba.

HTCAG can be a frustrating book. The main focus is on finding a “perfect master”, and the path to enlightenment under his guidance. If one is not inclined to this level of dedication, you can be left feeling inferior. This is similar to the despair people feel when they think they are going to go to hell, because they don’t have the correct ideas about Jesus.

Thie book takes a look at spirit from the perspective of all religions. A central concept is the avatar, the idea of G-d become man. (This was long before the movie with a similar title.) The avatars of recorded history include Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed. Some say that Meher Baba is the modern avatar.

Mr. Chapman has a knack for phrasing. There are expressions that PG remembers from reading HTCAG in 1978. They are still there 34 years later.

Creation First, there was G-d. Then, there’s you. Then, there is G-d.
Speculation The average persons speculation about consciousness…has “the stink but not the weight of his turd”
Evangelism An authentic Master will encourage you to let your life itself be his message.
Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds Don’t be sidetracked by elaborate creeds and doctrines- the truth is as simple as it is profound. From the ancient teachings of Zoraster to today, these three principles have been the heart of the message of every G-d realized Master.
Books “Excellent guides until you find the Way.”–Abu Sa’id
Books Part Two …the scriptures of the past compare to the writings of a present-day Perfect Master just about the way that dust compares to honey.
Satan Worship If you have been toying with the thought that any form of Satan worship can lead you to higher consciousness, sober up by reading the story of Dr. Faustus. There are many paths to enlightenment, but this back alley isn’t one of them.
Sex A real guru never has any form of sexual relations with his followers. If a person posing as a guru tries to seduce you in the physical sense, then you can have no clearer indication that he is a phony, a pathetic and hypocritical collection of unresolved desires.
Truth, Old and New One time the Buddha was approached by a young man who was skeptical about Gautama’s renowned divine status. “Does the Blessed One teach a path that is new and original?” he asked. One of the Buddha’s close disciples, Sariputta, turned his gaze from the Master to the skeptic and replied, “If the Blessed One taught a path that was new and original, He would not be the Blessed One!” “Well said, Sariputta,” smiled the Buddha, “well said.”

Several of these quotes are available in copy/paste form at Meher Baba Information, for which this reporter says thank you. This site says that Rick Chapman is a follower of Meher Baba, and met him in 1966. This relationship is never made explicit in HTCAG. A glowing chapter is devoted to Meher Baba, and this relationship is not surprising. Still, HTCAG might be a bit more upfront if this relationship was clearly spelled out.

Meher Baba was born February 25, 1894 with the name Merwan Sheriar Irani. The name Meher Baba means “compassionate father”. From July 10, 1925 until his death January 31, 1969, he maintained silence, and communicated by gestures that were interpreted by his followers. Meher Baba believed that he was the avatar of our age.

With all of it’s human imperfections, HTCAG is a valuable book. It is easy to read, will expose you to ideas about spirit, and get you to think. When you grow up in a Jesus Worship tradition, one can be aware of a spirit within. At the same time, you get tired of the obsession with life after death. You sense that there is more to G-d than scheming to live after you die. HTCAG shows one path.

This is a repost. It was written like Vladimir Nabokov. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.







Thursday Racial Polemic

Posted in Library of Congress, Quotes, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on August 22, 2019

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PG was spending a productive sunday morning. He created a map to the Living Walls grafitti festival. He was in a good mood. Even this link on facebook did not bring our slack blogger down.

Out of a masochistic sense of fairness, PG took a look at the link after he finished the map. “That’s Racist Against White People!” A Discussion on Power and Privilege is the usual headache producing polemic. Here is the third paragraph.

“These are White folks who are claiming that the Obamacare tax on tanning beds is “racist” against White people. These are White folks who are claiming that affirmative action is racist against them. These are the White folks who honestly believe they suffer more racism than people of Color.”

Lets take a look at those three links. In the first, Republican Congressman Ted Yoho complained to John Boehner about what is sometimes called the “Snooki tax”. The second link, about affirmative action, is linked to a feminist blog. The money quote “Ask any White person how they feel about Affirmative Action, and you’re almost guaranteed to hear that it is “racist against White people” and that it is “unfair” or “reverse discrimination” and that they oppose it.” This article is used as a source for the comment “These are White folks who are claiming that affirmative action is racist against them.” Is it prejudice to say “ask any white person”?

The last one, about PWOC thinking they suffer more discrimination than POC, is linked to an article in a British tabloid newspaper. Somebody did a study once, and that was one of the results. The study also showed “Blacks also perceived that racism against themselves had steeply declined from 9.7 in the 1950s to 6.1 in the 90s.”

One of the main points in the Everyday Feminism post was that the word racist is often misused. PG will not argue against that. The article was posted two days before a curious tweet by Chris Brown. “N**** done 6 months community service wit police and the DA racist ass crying to the judge that I didn’t do it. Fuck the SYSTEM! “

The entertainer, who is a POC, got in trouble for publicly beating up his girlfriend. He has had problems with his community service requirement. The amusing thing about this tweet is that the “DA racist ass” is a POC.

This is a repost. Very few things needed to be changed. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These images are Union soldiers from the War Between the States. The primary justification for that gruesome conflict was the abolition of slavery.

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