Category Archives: Quote

The Present 


Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

Bil Keane

 
I was staying with my granny last night to give my mother a break, and I had limited internet access at her house.  Therefore, I was having trouble deciding on a topic today, so a quote will have to suffice.

By the way, I’ve begun reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee that came out this week.  I can’t wait to finish it so I can review it.  Is anyone else reading it?


Artists

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I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.
John Steinbeck

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The Dandy

Quite honestly, I really had no idea what to write about today; however, I came across this picture and the fist thought in my mind was “dandy.”  A dandy is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self.  Historically, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, a dandy, who was self-made, often strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background.  Though the definition of a dandy may sound like a bad stereotype of a gay man, many of the dandies in history were homosexual.

The dandy creates his own unity by aesthetic means. But it is an aesthetic of negation. “To live and die before a mirror”: that according to Baudelaire, was the dandy’s slogan. It is indeed a coherent slogan. The dandy is, by occupation, always in opposition. He can only exist by defiance. Up to now, man derived his coherence from the Creator. But from the moment that he consecrates his rupture from Him, he finds himself delivered over to the fleeting moment, to the passing days, and to wasted sensibility. Therefore he must take himself in hand. The dandy rallies his forces and creates a unity for himself by the very violence of his refusal. Profligate, like all people without a rule of life, he is only coherent as an actor. But an actor implies a public; the dandy can only play a part by setting himself up in opposition. He can only be sure of his own existence by finding it in the expression of others’ faces. Other people are his mirror. A mirror that quickly becomes clouded, it’s true, since human capacity for attention is limited. It must be ceaselessly stimulated, spurred on by provocation. The dandy, therefore, is always compelled to astonish. Singularity is his vocation, excess his way to perfection. Perpetually incomplete, always on the fringe of things, he compels others to create him, while denying their values. He plays at life because he is unable to live it.

Procrastination

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Abraham Lincoln

Coffee Talk

I don’t know how many of you remember “Coffee Talk with Linda Richman,” but it was a sketch performed by Mike Myers on  Saturday Night Live. It ran from October 12, 1991, until October 15, 1994, although Myers (who had since left the show) reprised the role once more on March 22, 1997.

In the sketches, Myers plays a stereotypical Jewish middle-aged woman named Linda Richman with an exaggerated New York accent who sports long, painted fake nails; lots of gold jewelry; gaudy sweaters; large dark glasses; and big hair, which she constantly adjusts. This character was a spoof on his real-life mother-in-law, Linda Richman.  The above clip is a classic skit with Mike Myers, Madonna and Roseanne Barr as their characters.

Richman’s hero was Barbra Streisand. She constantly “dedicated” the show to her, often claiming her to be the greatest actress in all of history.

In what could be considered to be the sketch’s most memorable moment, Myers was joined on February 22, 1992, by special guests Madonna and Roseanne Barr as other stereotypical Jewish women. Madonna also lampooned herself by having her character attack Madonna as a bad example for teenage Jewish girls (“She is such a tramp. Please! Every week with the different boyfriend already!”). They discussed Streisand’s film The Prince of Tides (1991) on the show.

Whenever Richman would get upset, she would put her hand on her chest and say “I’m all verklempt” or “I’m a little verklempt.” Then she would say, “Talk amongst yourselves,” sometimes waving her hand in a dismissive gesture toward the audience. She would often follow this with an example by saying, “I’ll give you a topic.” The topic would usually follow this format: “[two- or three-part phrase] is neither [first part] nor [second part] (nor [occasional third part]). Discuss.” (Or: “Discuss amooangst yooaselves”).

The one that I will always remember is “The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss.” (This quote is based on a famous comment by Voltaire.)  By the way, I always use this in class when I discuss the Holy Roman Empire, but few of my students ever get the reference, because they are too young to remember Mike Myers on SNL.

This is a roundabout way of doing what started as a short post, but believe it or not there was a point, and it had nothing to do with cross-dressing comedians, gay icons Barbara Streisand or Madonna.  By the way, I never understood Streisand as a gay icon. I, personally, never liked her that much, to which some of you might get upset about and get “all verklempt”  in which case I am going to give you the following quote (the real reason I started this post before I decided that I might need to explain Coffee Talk):

These names: gay, queer, homosexual are limiting. I would love to finish with them. We’re going to have to decide which terms to use and where we use them. For me to use the word “queer” is a liberation; it was a word that frightened me, but no longer.
Derek Jarman

Discuss amooangst yooaselves.
By the way, as a post that started out as a way of just have a discussion about a quote, I think I have made a darn good post, LOL–not to brag on myself or anything.  Y’all might think this is a crappy post. 

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