Sunday, July 17, 2005

Now is the Winter of My Discontent

Initially when I started this blog, the title was "All Things James." I was trying to go for a play on the title of James Herriot's book ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL. Clearly there wasn't enough of a link between my blog and Herriot's work and the joke was only marginally funny to me for about five minutes and then it began to have this stench akin to fish funk. Therefore I embarked on a quest to choose a suitable name for my blog. Some of the candidates that I bothered to write down were:

  • El Gato Es En Bibliotecha - This is Spanish for The Cat is in the Library. It is one of the few Spanish phrases I know and it is pretty nonsensical, kind of like me.
  • Ninjas! Monkeys! Stoats! - These are just a few of my favorite things, and words that I feel are inherently funny words, regardless of context.
  • Alright, Turkey-boy! - This is an inside joke from my office. One of my coworkers attended high school in Cuero, TX, where the mascot is the gobbler.
  • Blog, Fat-ass, blog! - This is a deliberate misquotation of Jay from the Kevin Smith film "Mallrats", however I wasn't sure how well the word ass might go over. I want to keep this as PG as possible.

I finally decided on the current title "Opiate of the Masses" which I cribbed from the famous Karl Marx quote, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Once I had decided on this name, I thought I should find the source of this quote so I could educate myself and my readers on the origins and meaning of the quote. Much to my dismay I found out it is actually a misquote. The whole, correct quote is, "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." I like the correct quote MUCH better, as it is not the absolute condemnation of religion the misquote would seem to indicate.

In the course of researching this, I found the following webpages dealing with misquotes both helpful and interesting:

  • List of misquotations from Wikiquote. This includes such gems as "Beam me up, Scotty," and "The only tradions of the Royal Navy are Rum, sodomy, and the lash." Take a look through the article and find how many of these you have used. Turns out I have used seventeen of them at one time or another.
  • The Famous non-quotation article from Wikipedia. This page is divided into sections for real people and fictional characters as well as categorizing the misquote by whether it is a parody of another statement, a deliberate misquotation, an attribution to a famous person for propoganda, or an accidental mistranslation or corruption of the original.

3 comments:

Sara said...

Hi James! Just a waving and reading. You can check out our Chicago picks at http://sqwinch.blogspot.com/ --sara

Erica said...

I heart Kevin Smith. "Fly, fatass, fly!"

*giggles*

Jer said...

I think I prefer the misquote better. Religion, however noble the initial intentions may be, always turns out to be nothing more than a tool used to gain money, political power, and to control fearful people. It is a drug used by these people to give them hope of an afterlife, when the truth is nobody knows what to expect when they arrive in the classroom with Death as the instructor. I can guarantee you death terrifies everyone, including the know-it-all televangelists.

Later,

Jer