Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quote meme

life in the tea cup
Originally uploaded by takuya miyamoto*
Hey gang, I just can't be avoiding this meme any longer because as of today, I have been tagged by two charming blog-buddies, Dee at OnTheCurb and Wrekehavoc. They both are much more literary and quote-loving than I (and probably have better memories for quote-recall), so I had to go digging before I found a couple that have tickled my fancy.

I used to use this one when something that was expected to go perfectly well went horribly wrong, but in a way that was a few hairs short of a complete disaster. It's by the late, delightful, British SciFi humourist, Douglas Adams, in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

"When the 'Drink' button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject's taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject's metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject's brain to see what is likely to be well received. However, no-one knows quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea."

I've learned through this search that "not entirely unlike [X]" has recently entered the realm of hacker jargon

Another quote dear to my heart is from my favorite author, also of SciFi/Fantasy, Orson Scott Card. He is well known for his ethical truth/belief themes, for extremes of bad vs. good in his work, and has a wonderful way of creating alternate realities for the escapist in me. This quote is spoken by Ender Wiggin from Ender's Game.

"Remember: the enemy's gate is down."

It might be representative of why Hollywood is having such a difficult time making this book into a movie (which has been in the works for, I don't know, a decade?). So much of the movement in the book goes on in the heads of the children, illustrating their thoughts as they are learning about the world, and reacting to their surroundings. This quote is a cry of joy for Ender; he is a brilliant military student who has learned all he can from teachers that show him only the rote way of approaching challenges, and he gets beaten down for trying alternates. When he finally gets to teach his own students, he breaks down the staid processes, turns them on their corners and shows them the joy of learning through innovating. His class/army is about to rock the world of their competitors/enemy, as they have no idea what is about to hit them.

I tag friends who have blogged about unexpected disasters as well as cries of joy in their lives (well, that's pretty much everyone, but I'll cut it down):

Unfit Mother
Soundly Sleeping
Up From Sloth
Radical Mama


  1. A vidgame does not preclude an Ender's Game movie. IMDB's entry, updated Jan 08, says it's in pre-production with Wolfgang Peterson directing, to be released in 2008. I have doubts about that date, especially as there are no cast listed.

  2. It's in turnaround, meaning the studio that owns the rights isn't making it but is looking for someone who will.

    Kind of a big fall from pre-production movie to cellphone video game, but there it is.

  3. I love Hitchhiker's Guide...I finished reading it New Year's Eve 2003 before going out...I barely made it to the party before midnight. (i met e within minutes of arriving at that party)

    Another favorite quote of mine is from Adams...

    "He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it."

  4. Dee,
    Thanks! That's a great one; his humor has a lot of disassociative elements to it doesn't it? I love that series to pieces.

    And the Ender quote was a little bit for you. I said something about "the gate is down" on your blog right before you birthed your twins, thinking about the cervix as "gate" as all... ah, I'm a geek.

  5. Oooh! Anyone who quotes Douglas Adams is a very good egg in my book. My fave from HHGTTG:

    Ford: "It's unpleasantly like being drunk."

    Arthur: "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?"

    Ford: "As a glass of water."

  6. Duh...Ford says, "Ask a glass of water."

    Way to mess up the quote, Mary Lynn.

  7. Oh yeh, I remember the 'gate is down' comment now. Thanks for the reminder. Yes, you are a bit of a geek...and I LOVE geeks! :-)

    I like the 'drunk' quote as well, Mary Lynn. I think I'll grab another copy of HHGTTG to re-read (I gave my copy another Canadian actually, ML).

  8. I see yur meme. Give me a couple days. :)


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