Special Sub-Topic: Insults and Defamations
|Who said the following about Bishop Samuel Wilberforce during a debate on evolution? "If then, said I, the question is put to me would I rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence and yet who employs these faculties and that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion, I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape." |
Thomas Huxley. Wilberforce had set himself up for the insult by asking whether Huxley was descended from an ape on his mother's or his father's side of the family. Huxley saw his chance and savaged Wilberforce. I used Huxley's own version of the quote. There are many other versions, and most are sharper and more concise than Huxley's, but, for that very reason, they are probably less accurate.
|Who said this about Jack Kerouac's "On the Road"? "That's not writing; that's typing."|
Truman Capote. Both Kerouac and Capote lived their final years as burned-out wrecks, unable to write. Not long before he died, Kerouac told an interviewer that he was doing research for important new work, and Capote spent his final years pretending that he was working on "Answered Prayers."
|Who said this about Lillian Hellman? "Everything she writes is a lie, even the ands and the thes". |
Mary McCarthy. Hellman decided to sue McCarthy. Friends advised McCarthy to settle, but she was determined to fight. Hellman died before the case went to trial.
|Who said this about Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points? "Even the good Lord contented Himself with only ten commandments, and we should not try to improve upon them." |
Georges Clemenceau. Clemenceau was the French premier during World War I. He objected to what he saw as Wilson's inflexible, arrogant self-righteousness. David Lloyd-George was the British prime minister at that time, and Clemenceau, who considered Lloyd-George to be a corrupt demogogue, quipped that "Wilson talks like Jesus Christ, and he acts like Lloyd-George."
|Who said this about the German composer, Richard Wagner? "I love Wagner, but the music I prefer is that of a cat hung by its tail outside a window and trying to stick to the pane of glass with its claws."|
Charles Baudelaire. Baudelaire was a 19th century French poet, most famous for "The Flowers of Evil." In Woody Allen's movie, "Manhattan Murder Mystery," Diane Keaton persuades Woody to go to a Wagner opera, but Woody insists on leaving early. Woody's excuse is that if he listens to too much Wagner, he wants to invade Poland.
|Who said this about Mark Twain? "A hack writer who would have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tried out a few of the old proven 'sure-fire' literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy." |
William Faulkner. Hemingway was a big fan of Twain's work, while Faulkner was almost as unimpressed by Hemingway as he was by Twain.
|Who said this about Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 1984? "I can't say it, but it rhymes with rich."|
Barbara Bush. Afterwards, Barbara claimed that the word she couldn't say was "witch."
|Who offered this critique of Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience? "Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience is pretty much confined to having had breakfast once at the International House of Pancakes."|
Pat Buchanan. During the 1970s Pat and Tom Braden had a local radio show in Washington, D.C. radio station. On one June 17 afternoon, Braden reminded the audience that that day was the anniversary of the Watergate break-in. Buchanan complained that liberals always wanted to have a party on that day. Braden replied that if Pat's side wanted to hold a Watergate party, they'd have to hold it in a federal penitentiary.
|Who said the following about the attack on the World Trade Center? "And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal
court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the
schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for
this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy
40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really
believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists,
and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make
that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say 'You helped this happen.'"
Jerry Falwell. To Jerry's credit, he later apologized for the insult, and he never once accused the gays and the lesbians of poisoning the wells.
|Here's another comment on the attack on the World Trade Center. Who said this? "The Jewish supremacist's power is unique, and it is enormous. Its fifth column of traitors in America ultimately caused the attack on the World Trade Center by leading America to blindly support the criminal and murderous regime of Ariel Sharon and Israel. Then, in 9/11, after warning a number of Israeli citizens of the impending attack, Israeli agents treacherously let this horrendous attack go on to serve their own murderous ends in the Mideast. Israeli Mossad agents were even caught and arrested shortly after filming and cheering during the actual attacks on the WTC!"
David Duke. Yes, Virginia, he's still around. The quote comes from a November 29, 2002 commentary on Duke's web site. David may believe the story about the wells.
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