Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I Yam What I Yam, That I Yam"

After playing around with Hamlet yesterday, I thought about how we often use quotations from writers and famous people to describe who we are, how we think, or what we are doing.  Maybe it is a fallacious appeal to authority or the idea that if someone got the words exactly right, why not reuse them.  Or, if our French Existentialist friends are right, the use of familiar quotes is a way (although mistaken) to be a participant in the universal condition of humanity.  After all, "being is what it is" as Sartre says.
A favorite quote from a cartoon.
from funny time

List-Day Wednesday Topic:  What are you favorite quotes or catch-phrases?

Here is my list:

  1. "When the going gets weird, the weird get going."  Raoul Duke (HS Thompson)
  2. "Seems, madame, nay it is.  I know not seems."  Shakespeare, Hamlet.
  3. "Art happens"  James Whistler
  4. "Good history, is history that we can use."  Nietzsche.  (This does not have a particular source.  After some research, I have discovered that this is a Nietzsche quote I have made up... but it is still my favorite saying from Nietzsche.)
  5. "'To do is to be' Socrates, 'to be is to do' Sartre, 'Do Be Do Be Do' Sinatra"  Kurt Vonnegut


  1. Here is the full quote from James Whistler.
    "Art happens no hovel is safe from it, no Prince may depend upon it, the vastest intelligence cannot bring it about, and puny efforts to make it universal end in quaint comedy, and coarse farce”

  2. 1) “You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.” (Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride)

    2) God is good all the time; all the time, God is good. (unknown source)

    3) While walking through Wal-Mart the other day, one of my 6yos complained, “Eww, I don’t want to go through the girls’ section.” I asked why it was icky, because I’m a girl, and I’m not icky. The other 6yo answered, “You’re not a girl; you’re a women!” [stet] (Not a famous quotable, but it made me LOL!)