Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to explore strange old quotes, to seek out new sayings, and new ways of stating them in a galaxy not so far away. [Listen to our podcast at thequotablespodcast.libsyn.com ]

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Lesson for Today?

If you ever study literary criticism, you will learn about "Reader Response Theory," which basically asserts that the meaning of any text only exists within the reader's interpretation. You can also find this idea in the famous adage, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Both imply that we each experience the world differently. Our perceptions are colored by our own personal knowledge and history.

As an example, I wanted to share a little parable that you may have heard before. As with most parables, there is a commonly understood lesson, but not everyone gets the same message as you will see.

Once, there was a man whose house was caught in a terrible flood. He managed to climb out onto his roof as the waters rose and prayed to God, "Please save me."

After awhile, a man in a rowboat drew near the house and called for the man to grab his rope and come to the boat. "No thank you," replied the first man, "God is going to save me."

Holding firmly to his faith, the man watched the water grow faster and higher. Then, a speedboat approached and the driver called out to him. Once again, the man replied, "God is going to save me."

As the sky grew dark and the temperature fell, the man found himself bathed in the spotlight of a helicopter. A pararescuer climbed down a ladder from the chopper and held out his hand to the man. "No thank you," he said again, "God is going to save me."

Before morning, the man was overcome by the elements and he found himself at the Gates of Heaven. Distraught, he cried out to God, "I had faith!! I believed that you would save me!" To which God replied, "I sent two boats and a helicopter."

The moral of the story (for most people) is that you often get what you need, not what you expect; that God answers prayers in unusual ways. Sometimes, you don't even recognize the miracles in front of you.

However, when I asked my partner Ed what he thought the story meant he said, "If you hold out long enough, you get an upgrade!!"

Dear readers and listeners, next time you find yourself on that rooftop, don't keep waiting for a rocket ship or The Avengers' helicarrier to come for you. Hop on the next little rowboat you see and get yourself out of there.

New podcast episode next week! In the meantime, save yourself financially with tips from Suze Orman on TQ16: Save-ology or enjoy one of the old episodes from the Episode Guide.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Difference Makers?

Difference maker or differences maker? Which one will you be? Do you make a difference or do you just focus on differences? In an age where words like "diversity" and "multicultural" are part of every vision statement and strategic plan, have we really come that far or are we just offering lip service? In this week's episode, TQ13: Inalienable, we explore these ideas from a couple of different perspectives. (And, we promise you links: so the videos we discuss are included below.)

Both of the segments in this episode are drawn from popular culture: movies and the Internet. As you listen to the episode again (because you've already listened at least once, right?), I ask you to think about two other quotations: "Silence is golden" and "Silence is consent." When you hear derogatory language toward others in your everyday life, do you confront it, do you feel uncomfortable, do you ignore it? Not everyone can march on Selma, but perhaps we can find our own ways of making the world more tolerant (oops, forgot to sound the buzzword alert).

As we were preparing the episode, we discussed whether we really wanted to approach the topic of racism. It can be controversial, after all, and Ed knows that I prefer to keep my toes out of the pool of public controversy. (Not good for business, you see.) On the subject of racism, however, I told Ed that I am quite willing to stand up publicly as being firmly against it. If anyone stops listening to the show or reading the blog because they don't like that view, it's a risk I'm willing to take.

As someone told me yesterday, "I learn more about myself and the world, when I am with people who are different from me." So, that's one selfish reason to be anti-racist. For a more patriotic reason, I turn to the words of another longstanding friend, who argues that diversity helps the United States win more Olympic medals. "Of course we win in nearly every sport," he says, "we have people from everywhere; that means we can do everything!" Finally to quote a former boss, "we are altogether better because we are all together."
And, now, at long last, the aforementioned videos:

A Pep Talk from Kid President
Sweet Brown: The Autotone Remix This is just one of several remixes.
And, for your inspiration:

"TQ 13 Inalienable" ,the NEW Episode, is arriving in less than an hour! Please download at www.thequotablespodcast.libsyn.com

Check the episode at www.thequotablespodcast.libsyn.com

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Get a Better Dream

One of the reasons we seek out quotations is to find inspiration--to discover little nuggets of wisdom to restore your spirit or to "screw your courage to the sticking place." (Thanks Shakespeare.) So, this week, I was continually thinking about The Quotables as I attended a professional conference where this year's theme was "Inspire." They continually asked us what inspired us. What music. What teacher. What professional moment. And, each day, they drew us into one big session, showed us an inspirational video and then gave us an inspirational speaker. I learned a few things from retired Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, who advised us to never be afraid to fail, and from emerging motivational speaker and recovered stutterer Joseph Washington II, who said you must be prepared to participate in your own rescue.

But, the moment I will remember most is this little boy, The Kid President, who is offering the entire world this pep talk:

"Like that dude Journey said, 'Don't stop believing in your dream," unless your dream is stupid. Then, get a better dream." --Kid President.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No One Says "I Love You" Like Stallone

With Valentine's Day approaching, romance is in the air and so are quotes! In our latest episode, TQ 12: Romantilicious, we dive into the movies to find unusual ways to say, "I love you."

If you are looking for a quotation to use in your sweetheart's card, don't rely on the greeting card industry when you can impress your love with examples from Clark Gable, Harrison Ford, Patrick Swayze, and others. After all, no one is more romantic than Sylvester Stallone.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ravens Win/Poe Wins?!?

  So the Baltimore Ravens won the 47th Super Bowl last night, and we released TQ 11 Nevermore the week before. Hmm. Seems to me there was something nefarious afoot with the "power surge" that caused the lights to go out and the Ravens to win the big game. Could it be a "tell tale heart" from the great beyond? Maybe you should listen to TQ 11 Nevermore to find out, eh?
    Listen for yourself and find the truth!  "Nevermore"!!!  Ha ha ha (maniacal laughter echoing)



Thursday, January 31, 2013

TQ 11 Nevermore Behind The Quotes

  This episode of The Quotables podcast covers some famous quotes by a couple of my favorite poets. Being a poet myself, I appreciate the written word and understand how a simple phrase can change the way you perceive life and everything therein. Depending on the right word, the right position of words, or the exemption of a word, can change how you experience the thoughts and feelings conveyed.
   Edgar Allen Poe was such a wordsmith. His use of words and how he phrased them created an atmosphere of  mostly dark images that transported the reader into his fantastical, yet somewhat psychotic world that he so eloquently fashioned into being. I found a fondness, early on, for Poe's unique perspective on life. The sadness, despair, the longing he represented in his vast writings, from poems, to stories of characters that were tormented by loss, or simply just driven to madness.  Poe demonstrated throughout his many masterpieces an examination, such as the likes of a physician, in his meticulous constructions of words. Dark and brooding, dank with downtrodden displays of desperation, devilishly and delectably he delved into the distraught dwellings of the minds of his most disillusioned doppelgangers.
   From "The Tell Tale Heart" to "The Raven" to my favorite poem of all time, "Annabel Lee", darkness was always something that plagued Edgar his whole life. He knew loss, he felt the pains of not being appreciated for his talent, and he lived his life clouded by the demons of doubt and determination to escape his dungeon of despair.  Edgar Allen Poe would only know true peace after his death, I would assume, for he seldom enjoyed that one peace he searched for, never quite achieving in his written words. His studies on the darker side of the human condition where the heart and mind are caught in a dance between wants and needs, with his sanity dangling so delicately in the balance, proved to be very insightful and cathartic for those who might find themselves on the fringe of happiness.  Poe's best work, I think, still stands the test of time and teaches us to delve a little deeper than just the status quo of our sometimes average lives, and invites us to journey into madness, if ever so briefly, to come back to the "sane" world reinvigorated to better oneself. A world where, maybe if through the journey alone, sadness and despair will find you, "Nevermore"!

   Another poet's words we discuss on this episode are from Robert Frost. A great man who, compared to Edgar Allen Poe, was much brighter through his use of the written word. "The Road Less Traveled" is another favorite poem of mine. I can easily recall learning and reciting it line for line admiring the beautiful images it portrayed. The poem was not just a visual experience, but it was more a tale of taking a chance in life by a less traveled path to your destination. Reaching out a little beyond your own self imposed or even societal boundaries.
   Frost was a "city boy", but often wrote of country living. focusing on the simpler things life had to offer. Like the leaves, the trees, nature, you could see the picture he so eloquently painted, and they were places you would want to take a stroll in. Even in "Stopping By The Wood On A Snowy Evening" you wanted to be there. I would say Frost made you an environmentalist, even if you had never considered that to be something you were. Hope and responsibility to do the right things in life, to make the right decisions, and to stand firm in those decisions.
   I hope you enjoy listening to TQ 11 Nevermore as much and Cheryl and I enjoyed bringing the episode to fruition, and we thank you for listening!