Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-25-2004, 10:13 AM
Dunderman Dunderman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,838
Quotes that at first sound profound but really are obvious, stupid or pointless

What are your favourite "pretend-deep" quotes; stuff that sounds deep and meaningful but is in fact obvious, trite, pointless or stupid?

I'm thinking of Time Cubes "A mother and baby are the same age, as a 1 day old baby has a 1 day old mother" (really?!?) and Fight Clubs "On a long enough timeline the survival rate of everyone drops to zero" (really?!?). They sound deep enough to give you a couple of seconds pause, until you realize what has actually been said: nothing.
  #2  
Old 07-25-2004, 10:34 AM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 10,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priceguy
What are your favourite "pretend-deep" quotes; stuff that sounds deep and meaningful but is in fact obvious, trite, pointless or stupid?
The quote of that nature that leaves me grinding my teeth is the so-called wisdom of Yoda from Empire Strikes Back: "Do, or do not. There is no try."

Yeah, right. Try telling that to any firefighter!
  #3  
Old 07-25-2004, 12:10 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
"Wherever you go, there you are."

Dumbass.
  #4  
Old 07-25-2004, 03:24 PM
Yumblie Yumblie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: BOWLING BALL MUFFINS
Posts: 1,850
I liked the Matrix's "Everything that has a beginning...has an end." Oh reeeeeeeally?
  #5  
Old 07-25-2004, 03:42 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 11,625
I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here. (annon, from a bathroom wall in Kelly's bar in Kansas City Mo 1974)
  #6  
Old 07-25-2004, 04:26 PM
xcheopis xcheopis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: West Coast, USA
Posts: 795
Mean people suck.
  #7  
Old 07-25-2004, 09:56 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
Posts: 19,103
The damn pervasive annoyingly pretentious Serenity Prayer®, without a doubt.

Look, folks:

You obtain the wisdom to know the difference between the things you can change and the things you wish you could but can't largely by trying and finding out. From your successes and failures you learn, if you have the courage to make the relevant attempts. Serenity to accept the things you cannot change comes after.

In the order the stupid thing is written (and posted and replicated everywhere ad nauseum, it sounds to my ears like "God let me wimp out and accept as unchangeable the things I wish I could change but don't have the courage to make the attempt and find out."
  #8  
Old 07-25-2004, 10:49 PM
SuperDuperMan SuperDuperMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Don't look behind you!
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yumblie
I liked the Matrix's "Everything that has a beginning...has an end." Oh reeeeeeeally?
Anyone who saw the last Matrix move knows thats a bigass lie.
  #9  
Old 07-25-2004, 11:10 PM
Askance Askance is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 7,037
"Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life". No, really?
  #10  
Old 07-25-2004, 11:14 PM
malkavia malkavia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 2,215
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperDuperMan
Anyone who saw the last Matrix move knows thats a bigass lie.
Wow. You actually -watched- the last Matrix?

I figured Reloaded was enough to keep anyone from caring how the last one turned out.
  #11  
Old 07-25-2004, 11:32 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,711
And just in case you're interested. . .

Humbly submitted for your perusal an earlier thread on the subject.
  #12  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:04 AM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 8,793
"Which is farther, to Duluth or by bus?"

Bathroom, U of Wisconsin, early 80's.
  #13  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:26 AM
Atticus Finch Atticus Finch is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: An Office in Australia
Posts: 1,834
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priceguy
Fight Clubs "On a long enough timeline the survival rate of everyone drops to zero" (really?!?).
Well, I disagree with this one. Of course it's obvious, but it wasn't stated in the movie as a profound piece of wisdom, but rather as a truism along the lines of "Hey, we all gotta die some time". Similarly, "Wherever you go, there you are" was a take-off of mock-profound quotes and wasn't meant to be profound in itself.
  #14  
Old 07-26-2004, 12:33 AM
SuperDuperMan SuperDuperMan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Don't look behind you!
Posts: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by malkavia
Wow. You actually -watched- the last Matrix?

I figured Reloaded was enough to keep anyone from caring how the last one turned out.
I was out of sleeping pills.
  #15  
Old 07-26-2004, 01:36 AM
Rabid_Squirrel Rabid_Squirrel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: En Zed
Posts: 1,428
"He who questions training, trains in asking questions"

'Mystery Men' was a pretty crap movie, but it has some memorable lines.
  #16  
Old 07-26-2004, 02:37 AM
RandomLetters RandomLetters is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,497
"Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

Try telling that to a quadriplegic sometime.
  #17  
Old 07-26-2004, 04:16 AM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 16,298
I hate to bring this up, but some of these ARE really important because some of us are....well.....a little dense. Especially if we suffer from, and are trying to recover from, addiction. They may seem blindingly obvious, but sometimes we have blinders on a lot of the time.






I really didn't plan for blindingly and blinders to be in the same sentence. It just came out that way.






I leave now.
  #18  
Old 07-26-2004, 06:25 AM
Liberal Liberal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Gone
Posts: 39,401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia
"Wherever you go, there you are."

Dumbass.
I think that's actually a good saying, and not at all as obvious as it seems, at least to a lot of people. The point is that you cannot escape your own worldview, your own prejudices, your own shortcomings, just by moving away or being in some other circumstance. It's like that story about the old man who hears from two guys just arriving in a town far away from where they lived before. The first to arrive asks the old man, "What are people in this town like?" The old man says, "Well, what were they like where you came from?" Guy says, "Oh, they were horrible. Nosy bastards. Couldn't get along with any of them." Old man says, "People here are the same way." Next guy comes along and asks the old man, "What are people in this town like?" Old man askes, "What were they like were you came from?" Guy says, "Great! Everybody was friendly and kind and good hearted." Old mans says, "People here are the same way."
  #19  
Old 07-26-2004, 06:51 AM
F. U. Shakespeare F. U. Shakespeare is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Baltimore or less
Posts: 3,783
My favorite twist on this one is, "Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stranger."

In other words, "See this twitch? It's from something that didn't quite kill me."


Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomLetters
"Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."

Try telling that to a quadriplegic sometime.
  #20  
Old 07-26-2004, 07:07 AM
Liberal Liberal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Gone
Posts: 39,401
Well, that's another one. Maybe it's because I'm an old man, but I see value in some of these. Like that one. It doesn't mean that your muscles will be stronger if you're beaten to a pulp, but that your character will be stronger if you endure great struggle. Christopher Reeves may be a quadriplegic, but he is stronger than ever.
  #21  
Old 07-26-2004, 10:18 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 40,687
"No matter where you go, there you are" was never supposed to be deep -- it was intended to be silly, since it is such a tautology.

I always hated the chorus to "The Gambler." People seem to think it's wise (though it says nothing) and even uplifting (with sentiments like "The best you can do is die in your sleep." Pretty cheerful. )
__________________
"East is East and West is West and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #22  
Old 07-26-2004, 10:35 AM
hawthorne hawthorne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,751
"Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." Milton Friedman

So no inflation in barter economies, then? Ok.

[Yes, there's Friedman's theory that says that it is excessive monetary growth that is the cause of inflation and that inflation can only be tackled by quantity restraint on the part of monetary authorities (which certainly is not meaningless and even contains some truth), but the quote itself is just trite.]
  #23  
Old 07-26-2004, 11:22 AM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Any World (TIWT)
Posts: 4,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawthorne
"Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." Milton Friedman

So no inflation in barter economies, then? Ok.

[Yes, there's Friedman's theory that says that it is excessive monetary growth that is the cause of inflation and that inflation can only be tackled by quantity restraint on the part of monetary authorities (which certainly is not meaningless and even contains some truth), but the quote itself is just trite.]
Umm, there is no inflation in a barter economy unless some monetary or pseudo-monetary aspect is introduced.
  #24  
Old 07-26-2004, 11:48 AM
Shade Shade is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Cambridge. No, the UK one
Posts: 4,272
The point is that "Look before you leap" is advice that needs to be born in mind -- it's an ideal, but sometimes "He who hesitates is lost." They're BOTH necessary advice, depending which error you tend towards. So each by themselves seems both trite, obvious, and yet not universally applied.
  #25  
Old 07-26-2004, 01:24 PM
Dunderman Dunderman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne
Umm, there is no inflation in a barter economy unless some monetary or pseudo-monetary aspect is introduced.
Which, I believe, was precisely hawthorne's point.
  #26  
Old 07-26-2004, 01:34 PM
PookahMacPhellimey PookahMacPhellimey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Italy
Posts: 2,114
Everything happens for a reason.
  #27  
Old 07-26-2004, 01:39 PM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 10,483
Priceguy and hawthorne, actually, I disagree: I suspect that a straight barter economy is more susceptible to inflationary (and deflationary) pressures than a monetary economy. Whether money is involved or not, the law of supply and demand seems absolute - so, consider what happens to a barter economy during either a famine or a particularly bountiful harvest: The amount of goods being exchanged for food items is going fluctuate rather drastically from the norm. While this is unlikely to be a permanent change, it is going to happen.

(BTW, IANAE, so I could be wrong here...)
  #28  
Old 07-26-2004, 01:50 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Any World (TIWT)
Posts: 4,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priceguy
Which, I believe, was precisely hawthorne's point.
I suppose he'll correct me if I misinterpreted his meaning, but I think he was citing inflation in a barter economy as disproving that inflation was necessarily a monetary phenomena.
  #29  
Old 07-26-2004, 02:00 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Any World (TIWT)
Posts: 4,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtakuLoki
Priceguy and hawthorne, actually, I disagree: I suspect that a straight barter economy is more susceptible to inflationary (and deflationary) pressures than a monetary economy. Whether money is involved or not, the law of supply and demand seems absolute - so, consider what happens to a barter economy during either a famine or a particularly bountiful harvest: The amount of goods being exchanged for food items is going fluctuate rather drastically from the norm. While this is unlikely to be a permanent change, it is going to happen.

(BTW, IANAE, so I could be wrong here...)
What your describing isn't inflation, just a change in the relative value of one good. Other goods lose value relative to a product that experienced a famine. Inflation is a rise in the overall price level.
  #30  
Old 07-26-2004, 02:01 PM
Dunderman Dunderman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne
I suppose he'll correct me if I misinterpreted his meaning, but I think he was citing inflation in a barter economy as disproving that inflation was necessarily a monetary phenomena.
In that case, the quote isn't entirely on-topic, since it's false rather than just dumb. Anyway, I suppose we'll have to sit back and wait for hawthorne to settle this.
  #31  
Old 07-26-2004, 02:21 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 24,083
Quote:
stuff that sounds deep and meaningful but is in fact obvious, trite, pointless or stupid?
"All you need is love"—pretty much the whole song.
  #32  
Old 07-26-2004, 03:00 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Any World (TIWT)
Posts: 4,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priceguy
In that case, the quote isn't entirely on-topic, since it's false rather than just dumb. Anyway, I suppose we'll have to sit back and wait for hawthorne to settle this.
Why do you say it's false? Besides it being true, I also happen to think it says a lot with few words.
  #33  
Old 07-26-2004, 03:43 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Not here. There.
Posts: 18,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia
"Wherever you go, there you are."

Dumbass.
You have to make allowances for obvious sayings, when they are used with the intent of enlightening someone who's overlooked that very obvious principle. Some time ago, a member here was complaining about his complete lack of focus and direction regarding college, changing schools and majors as often as most of us change our socks, seemingly.

One of the replies was headed...Wherever you go, there you are...and in the context it was appropriate as well as a bit humorous.
  #34  
Old 07-26-2004, 03:49 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Not here. There.
Posts: 18,695
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcheopis
Mean people suck.
Again, it's addressed to those who don't get it. There are people who think its cool and impressive to be mean to people. They are the ones being addressed by this statement.
  #35  
Old 07-26-2004, 04:07 PM
Dunderman Dunderman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 8,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne
Why do you say it's false?
I don't think it's false. I don't even have an opinion. Let's go through this. Until hawthorne pops in here and explains himself, collapsing the waveform, there are two possibilities:

1. hawthorne cited inflation in barter economies as evidence that the quote is false. This is your interpretation of his statement. If this is the case, hawthorne's mention of it was a little off-topic since then, the quote is, by hawthorne considered false rather than dumb. That's what I meant when I said it was false, not that I personally consider it to be false.

2. hawthorne agrees that there is no inflation in barter economies and finds this so obvious that he finds the quote to be stating the obvious. That's my interpretation of his statement. If this is the case, hawthorne's mention of it fits squarely into the topic.
  #36  
Old 07-26-2004, 05:48 PM
KidCharlemagne KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Any World (TIWT)
Posts: 4,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Priceguy
I don't think it's false. I don't even have an opinion. Let's go through this. Until hawthorne pops in here and explains himself, collapsing the waveform, there are two possibilities:
Gotcha.
  #37  
Old 07-26-2004, 06:00 PM
NurseCarmen NurseCarmen is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: The Zen Arcade
Posts: 8,288
[Getty Lee] If you chose not to decide, you still have made a choice [/Rush]
  #38  
Old 07-26-2004, 06:28 PM
SandyHook SandyHook is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Shadow of the Sierras
Posts: 2,132
My contribution:

Fuck'm and Feed'm Fish

Which doesn't sound profound on first, or last for that matter, hearing. I think it's a general, "Bite me," addressed to vague and not present at the moment to be insulted in person, antagonist.

I've always wanted to use this phrase on the SD. But up till now haven't found just the right place.

You may now return to the economics lesson.
  #39  
Old 07-26-2004, 06:33 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Up there, waiting
Posts: 17,203
From a Billy Joel song:

"I got remote control
and a color TV.
I don't change channels
So they must change me."


And this was BEFORE the car accidents!
  #40  
Old 07-27-2004, 02:08 AM
hawthorne hawthorne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,751
I can see how KidCharlemagne came up with his interpretation, but Priceguy got what I meant.

I sure sucked the fun out of this thread.
  #41  
Old 10-07-2017, 12:19 PM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,132
Minor note on the economics sidetrack: in ANY economy, everything is affected by and connected to everything else. By definition. So any "inflation" anywhere, in a barter or a money-based economy, can and will end up affecting everything else. After all, money was invented to begin with, to FACILITATE what continues to be essentially a barter economy.

Now as to lousy "profound" sayings. I just stumbled across an old gem.

" It's good that love is blind, or it would see too much."

It might SOUND deep and insightful at first, but since it's based on a stupid falsehood to begin with (i.e. that love is a creature or a thing or an independent force in nature), in the end it's just an annoying snotty comment by someone with a bad attitude.
  #42  
Old 10-07-2017, 01:10 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Beyond The Fringe
Posts: 26,741
Often seen in advertisements: "Save up to 50% or more!"
  #43  
Old 10-07-2017, 01:38 PM
Wakinyan Wakinyan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Scandinavia
Posts: 1,640
igor, out of quriosity, you're not the occasional googler so how did you stumble upon this +13 year old thread and decided to reply to it?
  #44  
Old 10-07-2017, 01:46 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,168
Seriously, 2004, and NOBODY banned?

And what's it been with the recent zombie attack? Do I need to go out and buy an axe?
  #45  
Old 10-07-2017, 03:37 PM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunderman View Post
"On a long enough timeline the survival rate of everyone drops to zero" (really?!?).
To be fair, that's not a real saying. It was spouted by a movie character who was losing his mind.


ETA: grrrr, zombie.

Last edited by Lucas Jackson; 10-07-2017 at 03:38 PM.
  #46  
Old 10-07-2017, 03:55 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 27,021
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberal View Post
Well, that's another one. Maybe it's because I'm an old man, but I see value in some of these. Like that one. It doesn't mean that your muscles will be stronger if you're beaten to a pulp, but that your character will be stronger if you endure great struggle. Christopher Reeves may be a quadriplegic, but he is stronger than ever.
Ummm, no.
  #47  
Old 10-07-2017, 04:02 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 10,338
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtakuLoki View Post
The quote of that nature that leaves me grinding my teeth is the so-called wisdom of Yoda from Empire Strikes Back: "Do, or do not. There is no try."
This, a thousand times this. Blames people for not having supernatural power to make things happen as wished.

Don't try to beat cancer - just beat cancer!

Don't try to get into Harvard - just get into Harvard!

Don't try to win the gold medal - just win gold!


  #48  
Old 10-07-2017, 05:59 PM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 8,995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
This, a thousand times this. Blames people for not having supernatural power to make things happen as wished.

Don't try to beat cancer - just beat cancer!

Don't try to get into Harvard - just get into Harvard!

Don't try to win the gold medal - just win gold!


Don't try to reply to a 13-year-old thread and add nothing of substance - just reply to a 13-year-old thread and add nothing of substance!


mmm
  #49  
Old 10-08-2017, 07:31 AM
Scougs Scougs is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Posts: 615
I was merrily reading this thread and was about to reply to one of the points in it. Then I saw a reference to Christopher Reeve in the present tense and looked at the date.
  #50  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:27 AM
Randolph Randolph is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: NxnyC
Posts: 1,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas Jackson View Post
ETA: grrrr, zombie.
Zombies don't growl.

Well, zombie dogs maybe.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:10 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017