Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The five most badass quotes of all recorded time

Quotes. Everyone has them, everybody loves them. In this day and age of internet memes, corny motivational posters, and shitty self-help books with untenable nonsense, quotes are a dime a dozen. They have flooded our cultural psyche, polluted our minds.

Let us then harken back to simpler times (when the life expectancy was south of 35 and the food scarce and bland) when quotes actually mattered. Nah I am just kidding. These quotes are taken from all eras - fictional and not. Enjoy.

Coming at a comfortable #5...

5. "The game is afoot" by Sherlock Holmes (though originally coined by Billy Shakespeare):

Sherlock Holmes occupies a position of great importance in modern culture. Arthur Conan Doyle's misfit genius inspired (and continues to do so) all successive generations of detectives, making misanthropy and general aloofness seem cool. The TV landscape is littered with protagonists all made in his mold. This quote is the perfect encapsulation of the nervous energy bubbling inside Holmes at all times. He is an addict and solving cases helps feed his addiction. That is why anytime a case heats up, he gets all excited and worked up.

I understand the internet is a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, the bloke who plays Sherlock in the latest iteration, so I included a picture of him for your edification. You are welcome:


4. "Mr. Watson - Come here - I want to see you" by Alexander Graham Bell 

Widely acknowledged as the first words ever transmitted over a telephone, these words sparked the revolution that would (over the course of a hundred years) lead to an explosion of technology, allowing us to communicate with modalities so dazzling and impressive that a visitor from the past would be completely nonplussed. Here's a picture of Bell's science notebook where he made a record of this historic quote (at the very bottom of the left page):

Worth mentioning here is also the very first telegram sent long distance by Sam Morse in 1844: "What hath God wrought" taken straight from the Big Book itself.

And at #3 we have:

3. "Eh...What's up doc?" by Bugs Bunny 
Bugs Bunny is the most badass bunny in history. The studied nonchalance exemplified by his nonstop chewing of that never-ending piece of carrot, that confident yet casual stroll, those clever and perceptive eyes that reveal only a hint of the mischief lying underneath - Bugs is...just so cool. Here he is saying his trademark catchphrase in all manner of circumstances:

2. "Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday" by Albert Camus 

This is the very first line of the English version of Camus' (Camus's?) most famous novel, The Stranger, a slim existential masterpiece that raises (and barely answers) some deeply unsettling questions about the nature of good and evil, emotional attachment, remorse and consequences of actions. The cruel way in which Meursault, the protagonist, says "or maybe yesterday" is shocking and sets the tone for the events that unfold later in the novel.

And we are at #1, finally. Drum roll please:

1. "Veni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" by Julius Caesar

Caesar is reported to have said this, and of course he is not around for us to confirm if he actually said this or not. But that doesn't matter, because we can all agree this is a pretty badass thing to say. The brevity reflects both his self-assurance and his supreme arrogance. Also worth noting here is this version by the (in)famous web-comic Cyanide and Happiness. (Mild warning: the comic might be a little too crude and/or vulgar)

And there we have it. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with #1, although it should be at #5. The other 4 should be from "A Man for All Seasons".