TRUTH BE TOLD….so it is said

When I come across a quote I love, and which is so true that it hits home (home being where the heart is), I often tell Cupid to get lost while I grab a pen, because in my heart….

Yes, I want to be alone so I can write down said truth on whatever scrap of paper is handy before I get distracted and forget it….even then, I often don’t recall where I left that lovely quote, and Cupid will call me stupid (but then, aren’t we all when Cupid is involved?).

Anyway, I haven’t written a post since I got home from the (soap) opera six days of our lives ago, so today I thought I’d seek out and gather up some of the bold and beautiful quotations I misplaced, for you alone (you ARE alone, aren’t you?):

I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” –Audrey Hepburn, actress

“In Genesis, it says that it is not good for a man to be alone, but sometimes it is a great relief. –John Barrymore, actor

“Solitude is un-American.” –Erica Jong, novelist and poet

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” –Blaise Pascal, writer, inventor, and theologian

“The trouble with opera in the United States is that it is trying to sell caviar to a hamburger-eating country.” –Helen Traubel, opera singer

“Opera: a play about life in another world whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures, and no postures but attitudes.” –Ambrose Bierce

Opera: where anything that is too stupid to be spoken, is sung.” –Voltaire

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.” –Aldous Huxley

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” –Mark Twain

There is a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.” –Maya Angelou

I will close with a timely quote in which the words alone, opera, and truth do not appear….but I would say that truer words were never spoken (despite who said them):
“Democracy counts heads without regard to what’s in them.” –Lenin

 

 

YOU NEED TO READ SWIFT TO GET UP TO SPEED

I don’t recall how old I was — probably no later than my early teens — when I first read Jonathan Swift’s satirical masterpiece Gulliver’s Travels; all I know is it made a lasting impression on my unworldly-wise perception of the world. If you haven’t read the book, this summary will at least give you the bare bones:

Several films have been made based on the novel; here is the trailer for the version I remember seeing (the book was what made me think; the movie served as entertaining afterthought):

JONATHAN SWIFT, born this day (Nov. 30) in 1667 in Dublin, led a multi-faceted life between Ireland and England (his place of residence often depended on events beyond his control). For the meaty details of  his life, you might consider taking time to go Googling; here, I offer a dozen of his quotes, the first two of which are from Gulliver’s Travels:

Based on Gulliver’s descriptions of their behavior, the King describes Europeans as “the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.

The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his God, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.

When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues to use the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore.

I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.

Words are the clothing of our thoughts.

Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect: like a man who hath thought of a good repartee when the company departed.

Happiness is the perpetual possession of being well deceived.

We of this age have discovered a shorter, and more prudent method to become scholars and wits, without the fatigue of reading or of thinking.

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

I wonder what fool it was that first invented kissing.

It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

Nothing is so hard for those who  abound in riches as to conceive how others can be in want.

Almost 300 years have passed since Swift completed Gulliver’s Travels, and the world still doesn’t seem to have gotten the word. Too bad.

THE SOUND OF SILENTS

You sure you can’t move? –what Harpo Marx “said” to the tied-up hero (Richard Dix) before punching him in the 1925 film TOO MANY KISSES (fortunately, the film survived)

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Italicized above are the only words ever “spoken” (but not heard) on film by the man whose birthday we note today, HARPO MARX. The audience didn’t hear those five words because the film was a “silent” — “talkies” didn’t come on the scene until 1927, two years before the first of thirteen Marx Brothers movies (1929-49). Harpo spoke in none of them.

But why, oh why-o, should I try-o to “bio” Harpo, when here-o you can click on the official thing from his offspring:

https://www.harposplace.com/

Because Harpo associated with Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and other wits in the famed Algonquin Round Table repartee, I expected to turn up a number of witty Harpo Marx quotes for this piece. No such luck — I found only one I enjoyed enough to post here (both the “she” referred to in the quote, and who it is addressed to, are unknown):

“She’s a lovely person. She deserves a good husband. Marry her before she finds one.”

One quote being three quotes short of a gallon, I shall return to giving you “the silent treatment” with a quota of four quotes of silence said by forethoughtful others:

“Listen to the sound of silence.” –Paul Simon, American singer, songwriter, and actor

“Silence is golden unless you have kids, then it’s just plain suspicious.” –anonymous

“If nobody ever said anything unless he knew what he was talking about, what a ghastly hush would descend upon the earth!” –A. P. Herbert, English humorist, writer, and politician

“I believe in the discipline of silence and can talk for hours about it.” –George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic

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Since I didn’t give Harpo the last word, I’ll let him give his audience the last laugh….and though he doesn’t speak, you’ll hear captivating sounds escape his lips 2:42 into this clip:

Bravo, Harpo!

EPILOGUE: Listen — 90+ years after the “silents” ended*, you can still hear….

*with the exception of two Charlie Chaplin masterpieces in the 1930s, CITY LIGHTS and MODERN TIMES

RETIREMENT TIME

Hard as it may be (for me, at least) to fathom, it seems that many people approaching retirement don’t look forward to it because they don’t know what they’ll do with all the time they’ll have when they have no job. That has never struck me as a problem, what with books to be read, writing to be written, learning to be learned (unless you already know everything), trips to plan, music to enjoy, sports to follow, chores to avoid, mislaid items to look for, naps to take, etc….not to mention human behavior forever to be baffled by.

Believe me, friends, if I had half the time my once-upon-a-time fellow wage slaves assume I have, I would be posting a post almost every day instead of once a week or so (which, I concede, may still be too often for you malcontents and party poopers out there).

So, how busy am I?

Oops — how did that clip get there? Fact is, I’m so busy, I don’t even have time to think of more to say about the subject….so I’ll avoid that chore by passing it on to others:

I have never liked working. To me, a job is an invasion of privacy. –Danny McGoorty

I’ve crunched the numbers in your retirement account. It’s time to figure out who will be wearing the mask and who will be driving the getaway car. –Unknown financial advisor

My retirement plan is to get thrown into a minimum security prison in Hawaii. –Julius Sharpe

I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box. –Bette Davis

The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off. –Abe Lemons

I find the biggest trouble with having nothing to do is you can’t tell when you’re done. –Unknown

As for me, except for an occasional heart attack, I feel as young as I ever did. –Robert Benchley

I can’t wait to retire so I can get up at 6 a.m. and drive around real slow and make everybody late for work. –Unknown

What do you call a person who is happy on Monday? Retired. –Unknown

When a professional golfer retires, what does he retire to? –Evan Esar

When you retire, you switch bosses — from the one who hired you to the one who married you. –Unknown

Time’s up. COMING, DEAR!

 

 

 

THE ART OF BAD POETRY

Oscar Wilde quote: “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.” Maybe so, but you can’t blame a guy for trying.

A few days ago, in pondering the possibility of posting a post of putrid poetry for BAD POETRY DAY (August 18th), I took the precaution of reviewing a decade (my blog began in 2009) of August posts to make sure I hadn’t previously perpetrated poetic perfidy on unsuspecting readers on this day. Unluckily for you , I found that I’ve never posted a post on Aug. 18, so we’re good to go….make that, I’m good to go. Or bad to go. You have to stay, because if you don’t, you’ll break my poor art — and that wouldn’t be polite.

Perhaps you think that my calling bad poetry an art
doesn’t pass the smell test, like calling passing gas a fart.

Not to put you on the spot, but was that a bad-ass poem, or what?
Granted, it has a perfect rhyme, but is that such a crime?
As bad poetry, I still say it’s sublime….speaking of which, I’ll have you know there are actually high-class contests to determine how low a bad poem can get, such as:

With that behind us, it’s time we get back to sum-more of my cool august poetry:

CLOCKING OUT

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The doc ran up the rock.
The rock was more slippery
Than doc’s hickory dickory,
So down he fell, which cleaned his clock.

HAIR APPARENT

A Whig party wig
Is my saving grace —
It diverts your gaze
Away from my face.

I WILL ONLY STOOP SO LOW

I don’t do windows,
I don’t do lawns —
But when I doo-doo,
I do do johns.

And with that, I bid you a fond adieu-doo.

 

FOOL PROOF

fool’s paradise, a state of contentment based on delusive or false hopes. –WEBSTER’S NEW COLLEGE DICTIONARY

A fool’s paradise is a wise man’s hell! –Thomas Fuller, English churchman/historian

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July 13 is FOOL’S PARADISE DAY. If ever there was a day to get a handle on the “state” Donald Trump adherents live in, this is that day. Other than living in a “Fool’s Paradise,” how else to account for them being oblivious to what is patently obvious: The Donald is a sick excuse for a human being (much less a President) whose lies, corrupt morality, bullying, ethical poverty, and colossal narcissism do not matter because the economy happens to be booming (“booming” to whose benefit is apparently beside the point).

Fortunately for America, I know a few eye-opening songs to bring a “fool proof” Trump adherent to his/her senses if he/she will only give the songs’ words an ear and take them to heart….which shouldn’t be asking too much because, as we all know, Trumpies would give an arm and a leg to do the ‘right thing for their country. Left with this admonition….

….how can the devoted Don fan of November 2016 (having now been exposed to cool cats, and hopefully less gullible) not begin to think in terms of Don the Con Man and ask….

Cool cat or cool fool, still believe The Donald hasn’t played you for a total sucker? Pause and consider this Trumpian truism come election day, November 3, 2020:

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

 

SENIOR MUSE SOUNDS OFF FOR OLD TIMERS SAKE

In 1984, members of the Oxford Library Club for Retired Professional People were especially looking forward to hearing a guest speaker on “Old Age, Absent-Mindedness, and Keeping Fit.” Unfortunately, the speaker forgot to show up. –excerpted from the book 1,000 UNFORGETTABLE SENIOR MOMENTS

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MAY being OLDER AMERICANS MONTH, and ME being an older American, I’ve decided to post a post predicated on passing on — make that on passing along — hoary words of wisdom concerning a subject I’m surpassingly qualified to write about, namely …. ….hmmm….uh….ah…. longevity (ha ha — you thought I forgot what I was going to write about, didn’t you?).

Actually, I must admit to being a bit of a senior citizen-slouch when it comes to longevity — at least, compared to this guy:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/worlds-oldest-man-146-birthday-long-life-location-country-name-celebrates-old-age-a7505401.html

And of course, that there this guy is himself a slouch compared to this here this guy:

Methuselah, as all my bible-believing brethr’n and sistern know, was said to have lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), so you might think this song is my inspiration to keep marching on:

But (and I quote) “Who calls that livin’ when no gal’s gonna give in to no man what’s 900 years?”

So there you have it from Bobby Darin singing the lyrics of Ira Gershwin. Or you can take it from Senior Muse quoting the words of Oscar Wilde: “The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is not young.”