Tagged: Gertrude Stein Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Gertrude Stein, opinion polls, , public opinion, , there was no there there, Warren Buffett   


    In 1934 Gertrude Stein was on a book tour of her native America after 30 years living abroad in Paris. After arriving in San Francisco, she decided to take a ferry across the bay to Oakland to visit her childhood farm and the house she grew up in on 13th Avenue, but when she got there, she found the farm gone and the house razed. She wrote:

    ….there was no there there…. Ah, Thirteenth Avenue was the same it was shabby and overgrown…. Not of course the house, the house the big house and the big garden and the eucalyptus trees and the rose hedge naturally were not there any longer existing, what was the use…

    You may think it strange, but the words “there was no there there” conjured up a fantasy-picture, a vision in my mind, of an imaginary scene wherein a latter-day Gertrude Stein went looking for Donald Trump decades after they had been childhood friends, only to find that the boy she’d known had not merely been raised but razed, and there was no there there….

    If you’ve ever given much thought to why people turn out as they do, perhaps the above whimsy may not seem so strange after all. Obviously, we’re not all destined to become men and women of unbounded fulfillment (however that may be defined), but was Stein looking for a man grown so full of himself, so far removed from there, what was the use? How does a man who would be king — or at least President — become almost a caricature, a pretender, if you will, to the prone, meaning those prone to embrace simple answers to complex issues/prone to settle for simplistic bombast over substance? His bandwagon may have many jumpers-on, but, to quote Warren Buffet, A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.

    Humor and satire being my preferred manner of dealing with the theater of the absurd, I seldom write seriously about politics/politicians….but, with The Donald, seriously:  Where is the substance? Is there a there there?

    In the end, it matters not, Trump deriders. You’ve heard of snake oil. Deal with it!


    • arekhill1 1:00 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      At least the man has courage, Sr. Muse. I have seen pictures of the candidate in a baseball cap. Anybody who would plop a baseball cap over the engineering feat that is The Donald’s hair must have that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 1:05 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Or in other words, there may be no there there, but there’s hair there. There you go.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:35 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hair today, gone tomorrow (if America’s lucky, nomination-wise).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 2:41 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      So Gertrude Stein used it first eh. Well that’s like the line. “I’ll be back.” That is attributed to Arhnuld. I’m watching that old John Ford Western Fort Apache and John Wayne as Captain York rides out to save Colonel Thursday/Henry Fonda but before he charges off he says. “I’ll be back.”

      Besides, the Clintons use that line all the time. Usually about the scandalous charges leveled against them but who knew they were quoting Old Gertie?

      Hey how’s about. “Hair is hair, is hair”? But everyone shouldn’t get too excited about leading in the polls. It’s not the same as actually getting votes.


    • mistermuse 3:22 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think you’re right about leading in the polls now, Don. When the field of 17 candidates eventually narrows down to 3 or 4, 20% isn’t going to seem that impressive even if he doesn’t slip below that level by then.


    • Don Frankel 3:54 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Like I said about him somewhere I forget but it’s that he’s big, he’s orange and he says outrageous things. Hell I write about him because he’s in the news. Who wants to write about Lindsay Graham?


    • mistermuse 6:09 pm on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, Lindsay Graham is probably one of the more sensible Republicans in the field, but you’re right – who cares?

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 5:07 pm on August 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      He probably ran just to get attention and was surprised by how well he did. But he’ll probably never get more than 1/9 of the US vote.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:02 pm on August 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Some say they like Trump because he says what he thinks. Well, any idiot can say what he thinks. By that standard, any idiot is qualified to be President.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 6:45 am on August 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Merci, Mel@nie! Having not yet heard the news this morning, I very much appreciate your link to the story about the “American heroes in France!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • pjlazos 8:05 pm on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love it! You must have tremendous fun writing this blog. Good for you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:33 pm on September 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. Writing this blog IS a lot of fun, but also takes a lot of thought and time….but then, that’s usually the price to be paid to create something worthwhile. If it were easy, it would be hard to feel much satisfaction.


    • JosieHolford 5:53 pm on July 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A rose is a rose is a rose but the marmalade moron is a mirage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:12 pm on July 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I’d say he’s more of a joke, Josie — both as a President and a human being — but the joke is on us, and not a bit funny.


    • barkinginthedark 6:57 pm on August 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      even less than there there. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 9:42 am on April 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Annie Dillard, , , Gertrude Stein, , , , Peter O'Toole, ,   




    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Although not an atheist myself, I believe they exist, and I’m not above quoting them….and what better day to do so than April Fool’s Day, a day of dubious origin and God-awful jokes? So, without further a-Dieu, I bring you the word(s) of Godless mortals:

    I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world. -Georges Duhamel

    When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion. -Robert M. Pirsig

    I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up — they have no holidays. -Henny Youngman

    If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God? -George Deacon

    Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?
    Missionary: No, not if you didn’t know.
    Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?
    -Annie Dillard

    I admire anyone who’s genuinely trying to achieve spiritual enlightenment and live a peaceful life. But religious dogma is a barrier to that. The last thing a dogmatist wants is for anyone to be enlightened, any more than a pharmaceutical company wants anyone cured. -Pat Condell

    When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself. –Peter O’Toole

    Christianity, as many religions, was just dreamed up by a couple people with really good imaginations, a lot of time on their hands, and even some “herbal” help. I mean, who would dream up half of that crap without being totally baked? -Jillian A. Spencer

    Puritanism, n. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. -Ambrose Bierce

    There ain’t no answer. There ain’t going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer. -Gertrude Stein (when asked about God)

    Oh, well. We’ll always have Paris.




    • arekhill1 9:54 am on April 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve proposed Darwin Day as an atheist holiday for many years now, Sr. Muse, but so far a groundswell of popular support for the idea has failed to materialize. Coincidentally, my meditation tomorrow will be on the power of prayer.


    • mistermuse 10:24 am on April 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Although Darwin was at one time a deist and later an agnostic, there seems to be some dispute as to whether he died an atheist. So why not make Darwin Day a holiday for believers in any of that holy trinity? I’m up for it.


    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:15 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      To correct an earlier commentary, I do believe in a God who is a Creator. And I think that Christianity, among many other pagan and non pagan (how do we tell the difference?) religions was built upon the major earthly and atronomical events. Like the Vernal Equinox which heralds the arrival of Spring. Thus we have Easter and Passover. Both are a celebration of overcoming the fear of mortal death.

      The idea of a Darwin Day makes more sense to me than Christmas, Mid Summer’s Eve and Easter combined. I vote we incorporate it into the calendar.


    • mistermuse 7:03 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I “tried” Christianity once upon a time, but (to paraphrase my little poem at the top of the post), “Never again.” To quote the late journalist Herb Caen, “Born again Christians are an even bigger pain the second time around.”


    • Don Frankel 9:27 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “I remember it well. The Germans wore gray. You wore blue.”


    • mistermuse 9:55 am on April 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, thanks for remembering it well. Actually two movies brought my post’s closing line (We’ll always have Paris”) to my mind: not only CASABLANCA, but also MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, the Woody Allen film in which one of the characters in 1920s Paris is Gertrude Stein (who lived most of her life in Paris and provided the last of the post’s ten quotes).


    • BroadBlogs 1:27 pm on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Some great quotes. My philosophy is to do what works for you. If you feel you’re happier and healthier not believing, do that. If you are feel you’re happier and healthier believing, do that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:03 pm on April 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like a good philosophy to me, though for some, I think it’s more a matter of coming to a rational conclusion rather than what makes them feel happier and healthier. In other words, they have no choice but to accept wherever the search for “truth” has led them.


    • Mélanie 1:53 am on April 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I do NOT believe in atheists, but in… myself! I do respect all believers as long as they respect me… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:25 am on April 4, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As a deist,
      the leist
      I can do
      is respect you.


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