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| posted on 11.10.2009 at 10:54 PM
The Wit & Wisdom of Giacomo Casanova
Date of Birth:
April 2, 1725
Date of Death:
June 4, 1798
I don't conquer, I submit.
I will begin with this confession: whatever I have done in the course of my life, whether it be good or evil, has been done freely; I am a free agent.
The history of my life must begin by the earliest circumstance which my memory can evoke; it will therefore commence when I had attained the age of
eight years and four months.
(His babysitter was his first sexual experience)
I have always loved truth so passionately that I have often resorted to lying as a way of introducing it into the minds which were ignorant of its
As to the deceit perpetrated upon women, let it pass, for, when love is in the way, men and women as a general rule dupe each other. Wheeee!! But "true..."
By recollecting the pleasures I have had formerly, I renew them, I enjoy them a second time, while I laugh at the remembrance of troubles now past,
and which I no longer feel.
Love is three quarters curiosity.
It ain't all about the booty, folks.
Marriage is the tomb of love.
I never had any fixed aim before my eyes and that my system has been to glide away unconcernedly on the stream of life, trusting to the wind wherever
it led. (He took life as it came.)
Thence, I suppose, my natural disposition to make fresh acquaintances, and to break with them so readily, although always for a good reason and never
through mere fickleness.
You will be amused when you see that I have more than once deceived without the slightest qualm of conscience, both knaves and fools.
Casanova was the first "Great Pretender." Doctor, lawyer, nobleman, chief!
We avenge intellect when we dupe a fool and it is a victory not to be despised, for a fool is covered with steel and it is often very hard to find his
To gull a fool seems to me an exploit worthy of a witty man.
In the mean time I worship God, laying every wrong action under an interdict which I endeavour to respect, and I loathe the wicked without doing them
For my future I have no concern, and as a true philosopher, I never would have any (concern) for I know not what it may be: as a Christian, on the
other hand, faith must believe without discussion, and the stronger it is, the more it keeps silent.
Hatred, in the course of time, kills the unhappy wretch who delights in nursing it in his bosom.
I always made my food congenial to my constitution and my health was always excellent.
I am bound to add that the excess in too little has ever proved in me more dangerous than the excess in too much; the last may cause indigestion, but
the first causes death.
I have felt in my very blood, ever since I was born, a most unconquerable hatred towards the whole tribe of fools and it arises from the fact that I
feel myself a blockhead whenever I am in their company. (Speaking of the nobility and aristocracy.... or maybe just people
I have had friends who have acted kindly towards me, and it has been my good fortune to have it in my power to give them substantial proofs of my
(We know what he gave the women....)
I have often met with happiness after some imprudent step which ought to have brought ruin upon me and although passing a vote of censure upon myself
I would thank God for his mercy.
In other words, he's LUCKY!
I leave to others the decision as to the good or evil tendencies of my character,
It is only necessary to have courage, for strength without self-confidence is useless.
Man is free; yet we must not suppose that he is at liberty to do everything he pleases, for he becomes a slave the moment he allows his actions to be
ruled by passion.
Wise words from the con-man who seduced women of many nations!
My errors will point thinking men to the various roads, and will teach them the great art of treading on the brink of the precipice without falling
My success and my misfortunes, the bright and the dark days I have gone through, everything has proved to me that in this world, either physical or
moral, good comes out of evil just as well as evil comes out of good.
Real love is the love that sometimes arises after sensual pleasure: if it does, it is immortal; the other kind inevitably goes stale, for it lies in
| posted on 11.13.2009 at 01:19 AM
The Musings of Halle Berry
Beauty is not just physical.
I don't know why, but I respond well to tortured characters.
I don't see a white woman. I see a black woman, even though my mother is white. Knowing that has made my life easier, I think.
I know that I will never find my father in any other man who comes into my life, because it is a void in my life that can only be filled by him.
I spent a lot of time with a crown on my head.
I was black growing up in an all-white neighborhood so I felt like I just didn't fit in. Like I wasn't as good as everybody else or as smart, or
I wish all men were like dogs.
I'm done with men... I'm going to be alone. I have no luck with relationships. I don't think I'm made for marriage.
I'm learning to accept the lack of privacy as the real downer in my profession.
I'm not afraid of portraying anything on-screen.
I'm not sad at all about turning 40.
It is very hard to separate one's self from a character. Sometimes the people closest to me have to be very understanding.
My whole life I've had the fear that I was going to be abandoned.
The worst thing a man can ever do is kiss me on the first date.
After that slutty performance with Jamie
Foxx??? Guess it goes to no problem with "performing" ANYTHING on stage and screen.... IMO, it goes to a weak character, lack of moral fibre. Notice
she says "if a man kisses me on the first date" rather than "I don't kiss on the first date." Sad.
There's a place in me that can really relate to being the underdog.
What's the worst that can happen? If it doesn't do well I can put on my big girl panties, deal with it and move on.
While being called beautiful is extremely flattering, I would much rather be noticed for my work as an actress.
| posted on 12.2.2009 at 07:01 PM
The Wit and Wisdom of Duke Ellington
A man is a god in ruins.
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.
By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.
Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don't want it.
Critics have their purposes, and they're supposed to do what they do, but sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone
should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what they did.
Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be too famous too young.
Gray skies are just clouds passing over.
I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.
It's like an act of murder; you play with intent to commit something.
Love is supreme and unconditional; "like" is nice but limited.
My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never.
Now I can say loudly and openly what I have been saying to myself on my knees.
On becoming more acquainted with the word of the Bible, I began to understand so much more of what I had been taught, and of what I had learned about
life and about the people in mine.
People do not retire. They are retired by others.
Playing "bop" is like playing Scrabble with all the vowels missing.
The wise musicians are those who play what they can master.
There are two kinds of worries - those you can do something about and those you can't. Don't spend any time on the latter.
There is hardly any money interest in art, and music will be there when money is gone.
You've got to find some way of saying it without saying it.
| posted on 12.5.2009 at 01:15 PM
The Wit & Wisdom of Spike Lee
Fight the power that be. Fight the power.
A lot of times you get credit for stuff in your movies you didn't intend to be there.
A lot of times, we censor ourselves before the censor even gets there.
All directors are storytellers, so the motivation was to tell the story I wanted to tell. That's what I love.
Any film I do is not going to change the way black women have been portrayed, or black people have been portrayed, in cinema since the days of D.W.
Any time you talk about the look of the film, it's not just the director and the director of photography. You have to include the costume designer
and the production designer.
Don't think that because you haven't heard from me for a while that I went to sleep. I am still here, like a spirit roaming the night. Thirsty,
hungry, seldom stopping to rest.
Everything I do is always scrutinised. But that's all I'll say about that.
I always give the example, if you turn on the radio today, black radio, Lenny Kravitz is not black. Bob Marley wasn't black: in the beginning, only
white college stations played Bob Marley.
I don't dictate, you don't dictate to Stevie Wonder, not successfully.
I get offered to do stuff where the money's nice but it's not something I want to do - I get offered a lot of commercials too.
I like to work with the same people when I can, and you want to get people with the same interests that you have, and the same aesthetic.
I live in New York City, the stories of my films take place in New York; I'm a New York filmmaker.
I think it is very important that films make people look at what they've forgotten.
I think it would be very boring dramatically to have a film where everybody was a lawyer or doctor and had no faults. To me, the most important thing
is to be truthful.
I think my work shows that I love women.
I understand where these types of criticisms are coming from because black people have been so dogged out in the media, they're just extra sensitive.
I think people who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect.
I'd like to state that Spike Lee is not saying that African American culture is just for black people alone to enjoy and cherish. Culture is for
I'm just trying to tell a good story and make thought-provoking, entertaining films. I just try and draw upon the great culture we have as a people,
from music, novels, the streets.
If we became students of Malcolm X, we would not have young black men out there killing each other like they're killing each other now. Young black
men would not be impregnating young black women at the rate going on now. We'd not have the drugs we have now, or the alcoholism.
It comes down to this: black people were stripped of our identities when we were brought here, and it's been a quest since then to define who we are.
Since the days of slavery, if you were a good singer or dancer, it was your job to perform for the master after dinner.
There's a lot of Americans, black and white, who think that we've arrived where we need to be and nothing else needs to be done and affirmative
action needs to be dismantled.
There's an unwritten law that you cannot have a Jewish character in a film who isn't 100 percent perfect, or you're labeled anti-Semitic.
Violence is a part of America. I don't want to single out rap music. Let's be honest. America's the most violent country in the history of the
world, that's just the way it is. We're all affected by it.
| posted on 12.21.2009 at 02:36 PM
The Wit & Wisdom of Eminem
Date of Birth:
October 17, 1972
Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They're only powerful when you got your back turned.
Fame hit me like a ton of bricks.
I always wished for this, but it's almost turning into more of a nightmare than a dream.
I come from Detroit where it's rough and I'm not a smooth talker.
I don't hate women - they just sometimes make me mad.
I might talk about killing people, but that doesn't mean I do it.
I was poor white trash, no glitter, no glamour, but I'm not ashamed of anything.
I'd go to, like, six different schools in one year. We were on welfare, and my mom never ever worked.
I'm stupid, I'm ugly, I'm dumb, I smell. Did I mention I'm stupid?
If there's not drama and negativity in my life, all my songs will be really wack and boring or something.
It'd be stupid for me to sit here and say that there aren't kids who took up to me, but my responsibility is not to them. I'm not a baby sitter.
My father? I never knew him. Never even seen a picture of him.
My only scheme was to be a rapper.
My thing is this; if I'm sick enough to think it, then I'm sick enough to say it.
Say there's a white kid who lives in a nice home, goes to an all-white school, and is pretty much having everything handed to him on a platter - for
him to pick up a rap tape is incredible to me, because what that's saying is that he's living a fantasy life of rebellion.
Somewhere deep down there's a decent man in me, he just can't be found.
There was a while when I was feeling like, 'Damn, if I'd just been born black, I would not have to go through all this'.
To the people I forgot, you weren't on my mind for some reason and you probably don't deserve any thanks anyway.
When you're a little kid, you don't see color, and the fact that my friends were black never crossed my mind. It never became an issue until I was a
teenager and started trying to rap.
| posted on 1.23.2010 at 02:10 PM
The Wit & Wisdom of MUHAMMED ALI
If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize.
It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe.
It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.
It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen. I hated every
minute of training, but I said, ''Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.''
It's not bragging if you can back it up.
Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with
fighters: some die, some get hurt, some go on. You just don't let yourself believe it will happen to you.
My toughest fight was with my first wife.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. That's the funniest joke in the world.
No one knows what to say in the loser's locker room.
Old age is just a record of one's whole life.
Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win
when the match is even.
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams - they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do - they all contain truths.
Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer.
Superman don't need no seat belt.
The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.
I know I got it made while the masses of black people are catchin' hell, but as long as they ain't free, I ain't
I never thought of losing, but now that it' s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That's my obligation to all the people who believe in me.
We all have to take defeats in life.
The man who has no imagination has no wings.
There are no pleasures in a fight but some of my fights have been a pleasure to win.
To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich.
Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last.
What keeps me going is goals.
When you are as great as I am it is hard to be humble.
When you can whip any man in the world, you never know peace.
| posted on 2.2.2010 at 07:02 PM
The Wit and Wisdom of Tupac Shakur
Date of Birth:
June 16, 1971
Date of Death:
September 13, 1996
All I'm trying to do is survive and make good out of the dirty, nasty, unbelievable lifestyle that they gave me.
Thug Life to me is dead.
Dre was one of my heros in the music industry. If he's not down for his homeboys, I don't wanna be a part of him or around him.
I don't have no fear of death. My only fear is coming back reincarnated.
I don't have to talk about whether or not I got raped in jail.
I don't see myself being special; I just see myself having more responsibilities than the next man. People look to me to do things for them, to have
I just don't know how to deal with so many people giving me that much affection. I never had that in my life.
I just spent 11 and a half months in a maximum-security jail, got shot five times, and was wrongly convicted of a crime I didn't commit.
I never killed anybody, I never raped anybody, I never committed no crimes that weren't honorable.
I think I'm a natural-born leader. I know how to bow down to authority if it's authority that I respect.
I worked hard all my life as far as this music business. I dreamed of the day when I could go to New York and feel comfortable and they could come out
here and be comfortable.
I would rather have been shot straight-up in cold blood-but to be set up? By people who you trusted? That's bad.
I'll probably be punished for hard living.
I'm 23 years old. I might just be my mother's child, but in all reality, I'm everybody's child. Nobody raised me; I was raised in this society.
I'm a reflection of the community.
If you believe in God, believe in Death Row East.
In my mind I'm a blind man doin' time.
Is it a crime, to fight, for what is mine? It seems like every time you come up something happens to bring you back down.
It's a struggle for every young Black man. You know how it is, only God can judge us.
It's the game of life. Do I win or do I lose?
One day they're gonna shut the game down. I gotta have as much fun and go around the board as many times as I can before it's my turn to leave.
Let the Lord judge the criminals.
My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for.'
Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.
Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here cause even Thugs cry, but do the Lord care?
The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams.
The only time I have problems is when I sleep.
There's nobody in the business strong enough to scare me.
We all gonna die, we bleed from similar veins.
What I learned in jail is that I can't change. I can't live a different lifestyle-this is it. This is the life that they gave and this is the life
that I made.
When you do rap albums, you got to train yourself. You got to constantly be in character.
With all my fans I got a family again.
| posted on 2.5.2010 at 07:40 PM
The Wit & Wisdom of Bill Cosby
Date of Birth:
July 12, 1937
A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.
Any man today who returns from work, sinks into a chair, and calls for his pipe is a man with an appetite for danger.
Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.
Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.
Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.
I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
I guess the real reason that my wife and I had children is the same reason that Napoleon had for invading Russia: it seemed like a good idea at the
In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
Let us now set forth one of the fundamental truths about marriage: the wife is in charge.
Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries.
Men and women belong to different species and communications between them is still in its infancy.
My childhood should have taught me lessons for my own fatherhood, but it didn't because parenting can only be learned by people who have no children.
No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is
Nothing I've ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.
Old is always fifteen years from now.
Parents are not interested in justice, they're interested in peace and quiet.
People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what's bitter and move on.
Poets have said that the reason to have children is to give yourself immortality. Immortality? Now that I have five children, my only hope is that
they are all out of the house before I die.
Raising children is an incredibly hard and risky business in which no cumulative wisdom is gained: each generation repeats the mistakes the previous
Sex education may be a good idea in the schools, but I don't believe the kids should be given homework.
That married couples can live together day after day is a miracle that the Vatican has overlooked.
The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your
marriage is a gift from the gods. - Amen!
The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now.
There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God.
There is no labor a person does that is undignified; if they do it right.
Women don't want to hear what you think. Women want to hear what they think - in a deeper voice.
Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be,
you can survive it.
When you become senile, you won't know it.
You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.
| posted on 2.7.2010 at 09:27 PM
The Wit & Wisdom of THE MARQUIS DE SADE - I
Marquis de Sade
Date of Birth:
June 2, 1740
Date of Death:
December 2, 1814
(some translated from the "archaic" English to modern day)
All morality is idle fancy.
No lover, if he be of good faith, and sincere, will deny he would prefer to see his mistress dead than unfaithful.
Man's natural character is to imitate; that of the sensitive man is to resemble as closely as possible the person whom he loves. It is only by
imitating the vices of others that I have earned my misfortunes.
In order to know virtue, we must first acquaint ourselves with vice.
It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.
I've already told you: the only way to a woman's heart is along the path of torment. I know none other as sure.
Happiness is the work of the imagination.
Sensual excess drives out pity in man.
"Sex" is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow that one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the
She had already allowed her delectable lover to pluck that flower which, so different from the rose to which it is nevertheless sometimes compared,
has not the same faculty of being reborn each spring.
One is never so dangerous when one has no shame, than when one has grown too old to blush.
One weeps not save when one is afraid, and that is why kings are tyrants.
Woman's destiny is to be wanton, like the bitch, the she-wolf; she must belong to all who claim her.
All is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to take other people's possessions is the primary - the most legitimate
- passion nature has bred into us, and without doubt, the most agreeable one.
It is not my way of thinking that has caused my misfortunes, but the way other people think.
Nature has not got two voices, you know, one of them condemning all day what the other commands.
Lust is to the other passions what the nervous fluid is to life; it supports them all.... lends strength to them; all ambition, cruelty, avarice,
revenge, are all founded on lust.
Lust's passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.
Never lose sight of the fact that all happiness lies in man's imagination, and that he cannot think to attain it unless he heeds all his caprices.
The most fortunate of persons is he who has the most means to satisfy his whims.
My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!
The Marquis de Sade on Religion and Law - II
(NOTE: If it were even HINTED that the Marquis de Sade was "thinking" of moving into my neighborhood, I'd sell my house and leave town. Rather,
I'd leave town, then from a thousand miles away, "try" to sell my house! DAYUM!)
Religions are the cradles of despotism.
The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind.
There is no God, Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author.
Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced.
The primary and most beautiful of Nature's qualities is motion, which agitates her at all times, but this motion is simply a perpetual consequence of
crimes, she conserves it by means of crimes only.
So long as the laws remain such as they are today, employ some discretion: loud opinion forces us to do so; but in privacy and silence let us
compensate ourselves for that cruel chastity we are obliged to display in public.
To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.
Destruction, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.
Are wars anything but the means whereby a nation is nourished, whereby it is strengthened, whereby it is buttressed?
What is more immoral than war?
Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.
'Til the infallibility of human judgements shall have been proved to me, I shall demand the abolition of the penalty of death.
Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the greatest Law - in any country you like - and you
will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear.
The ultimate triumph of philosophy would be to cast light upon the mysterious ways in which Providence moves to achieve the designs it has for man.
Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue; but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make in pursuance of our
Nature, who for the perfect maintenance of her laws, has sometimes need of vices and sometimes of virtues..... inspires now this impulse, now that
one..... in accordance with what she requires.
Truth titillates the imagination far less than fiction.
Variety, multiplicity are the two most powerful vehicles of lust.
The imagination is the spur of delights... all depends upon it, it is the mainspring of everything; now, is it not by means of the imagination one
knows joy? Is it not of the imagination that the sharpest pleasures arise?
There is no more lively sensation than that of pain; its impressions are certain and dependable, they never deceive as may those of the pleasure women
perpetually feign and almost never experience.
They declaim against the passions without bothering to think that it is from their flame philosophy lights its torch.
The more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable, the more resounding his success (in bedding women).
| posted on 2.15.2010 at 07:50 AM
The Wit & Wisdom of Stokely Carmichael (the man who coined "Black Power!" - last)
Date of Birth:
June 29, 1941
Date of Death:
November 15, 1998
A man is born free.
Our grandfathers had to run, run, run. My generation's out of breath. We ain't running no more.
I also know that while I am black I am a human being, and therefore I have the right to go into any public place. White people didn't know that.Every
time I tried to go into a place they stopped me.
I knew that I could vote and that that wasn't a privilege; it was my right. Every time I tried I was shot, killed or jailed, beaten or economically
I maintain that every civil rights bill in this country was passed for white people, not for black people.
Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks.
An organization which claims to be working for the needs of a community
- as SNCC does - must work to provide that community with a position of strength from which to make its voice heard. This is the significance of black
power beyond the slogan.
Black power can be clearly defined for those who do not attach the fears of white America to their questions about it.
It (black power) is a call for black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for
black people to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations.
I usually say I did the best I could with what I had. I have no major regrets.
Capitalism is a stupid system, a backward system.
Integration is a man's ability to want to move in there by himself. If someone wants to live in a white neighborhood and he is black, that is his
choice. It should be his right. It is not because white people will not allow him.
Leaders in Africa are so corrupt that we are certain if we put dogs in uniforms and put guns on their shoulders, we'd be hard put to distinguish
No man can given anybody his freedom.
Now we maintain that we cannot be afford to be concerned about 6 percent of the children in this country, black children, who you allow to come into
white schools. We have 94 percent who still live in shacks. We are going to be concerned about those 94 percent.
Now, then, in order to understand white supremacy we must dismiss the fallacious notion that white people can give anybody their freedom.
One of the tragedies of the struggle against racism is that up to now there has been no national organization which could speak to the growing
militancy of young black people in the urban ghetto.
Seems to me that the institutions that function in this country are clearly racist, and that they're built upon racism.
The failures to pass a civil rights bill isn't because of Black Power, isn't because of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; it's not
because of the rebellions that are occurring in the major cities.
The first need of a free people is to define their own terms. Ergo, racism does NOT mean "prejudice." A Racist is one
who uses the POWER of his race to oppress one of a different race!
The knowledge I have now is not the knowledge I had then.
The masses don't shed their blood for the benefit of a few individuals.
The philosophers Camus and Sartre raise the question whether or not a man can condemn himself.
The secret of life is to have no fear; it's the only way to function.
There has been only a civil rights movement, whose tone of voice was adapted to an audience of liberal whites.
There is a higher law than the law of government. That's the law of conscience.
We are revolutionaries.
We had no more courage than Harriet Tubman or Marcus Garvey had in their times. We just had a more vulnerable enemy.
We wanted to say that this is a student conference, as it should be, held on a campus, and that we're not ever to be caught up in the intellectual
masturbation of the question of Black Power.
We were aware of the fact that death walks hand in hand with struggle.
| posted on 2.26.2010 at 01:53 PM
The Wit & Hard-earned Wisdom of Lena Horne
Date of Birth:
June 30, 1917
Date of Death:
After I got over the terrible pain of having something of mine taken from me, I began to think how bad everybody else must be feeling. It wasn't a
You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way.
Always be smarter than the people who hire you.
As much as I try, when I open my mouth, Lena comes out, And I get so mad.
Don't be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it's just death.
Every color I can think of and nationality, we were all touched by Dr. King because he made us like each other and respect each other.
I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become. I'm me, and I'm like nobody else.
I made a promise to myself to be kinder to other people.
I really do hate to sing.
I remember the day Dr. King died. I wasn't angry at the beginning. It was like something very personal in my life had been touched and finished.
I told them I belong to the same organizations and clubs Mrs. Roosevelt belongs to, but with a few brave exceptions, I was still unable to do films or
television for the next seven years. (She did something to upset white people)
I want to sing like Aretha Franklin. Before her I wanted the technical ability of Ella Fitzgerald.
I was lucky, as many of my generation was, in having a man like Dr. King in our lives. He came at a time that we needed to take a long look at each
other and see how similar we were.
I'm not alone, I'm free. I no longer have to be a credit(to my race), I don't have to be a symbol to anybody; I
don't have to be a "first" to anybody.
I'm still learning, you know. At 80, I feel there is a lot I don't know.
It's so nice to get flowers while you can still smell the fragrance.
Malcolm X made me very strong at a time I needed to understand what I was angry about. He had peace in his heart. He exerted a big influence on me.
Malcolm X raised my consciousness about myself and my people and other people more than any person I know. I knew him before he became Malcolm X.
My identity is very clear to me now, I am a black woman.
| posted on 3.14.2010 at 05:56 PM
The Wit, Wisdom and "in denial" of....
Date of Birth:
August 9, 1963
From the beginning, the camera and I were great friends. It loves me, and I love it.
God gave me a voice to sing with, and when you have that, what other gimmick is there?
I almost wish I could be more exciting, that I could match what is happening out there to me.
Growing around [great musicians], you just can't help it. I identified with it immediately. It was something that was so natural to me that when I
started singing, it was almost like speaking.
Being around people like Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick and Roberta Flack. . . had a great impact on me as a singer, as a performer,
as a musician.
I finally faced the fact that it isn't a crime not having friends.
Being alone means you have fewer problems.
I like being a woman, even in a man's world. After all, men can't wear dresses, but we can wear the pants.
I was aware of people staring at me. No one moved. They seemed almost in trance. I just stared at the clock in the center of the church. When I
finished, everyone clapped and started crying.
I don't like it when they [media critics] see me as this little person who doesn't know what to do with herself -- like I have no idea what I want,
like I'm just a puppet . . . . That's demeaning to me, because that ain't how it is, and it never was.
I'm not crazy about arenas just because I can sell them out. It doesn't do anything for my ego at all. I want to play places where people don't
have to sit in the nosebleed seats and wonder what the hell is going on.
I've turned down a lot of arena dates because I've done the big-arena thing. Now, I want to do something where people can feel me and I can feel
My mother taught me that when you stand in the truth and someone tells a lie about you, don't fight it.
Nobody likes to be picked on. Nobody.
When I decided to be a singer, my mother warned me I'd be alone a lot. Basically we all are. Loneliness comes with life.
When I heard Aretha, I could feel her emotional delivery so clearly. It came from down deep within. That's what I wanted to do.
Money doesn't solve your problems. It creates problems.
Fame doesn't solve anything. It just makes people more dangerous.
You've got people who love you so much they hate you. Hate to love you. What kind of s*** is that?
All I want to do is sing
I've always been a thin girl. I'm not going to be fat, ever. Let's get that straight.
I'm a very prayerful person, even in the midst of the trouble, of the battle.
If she was a friend of mine and she ever asked me for advice -- which is
hard to imagine -- I'd say, 'Dump the husband!'
I've read about myself and my husband and my family, to the point where they've called my parents, they've called my brothers, offering money to
tell stories. They call friends of mine. I'd just like for them to just ... don't badger us. Don't scrutinize us. We have children and they have to
live, too. It's not fair.
The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy.
I Am a Bird Now.
And **sigh** Whitney in Denial:
No, I'm not a drug addict, and neither is my husband. If that were so, you'd get a lot less work out of me. It would show in the performances and in
I know that I could really kill for my daughter. I know because I'm living for her, so I'm fierce when it comes down to it. And I feel the same
about my husband and my family. I'm just fiercely protective. It's like, that's my lair and nobody messes with my lair.
I've got a good man. He takes care of me. I don't have to be scared of anything because I know he will kick every ass... disrespect him and you've
got a problem.
Contrary to belief, I do the hitting, he doesn't. He has never put his hands on me. He is not a woman-beater.
We are crazy for one another. I mean crazy in love, love, love, love, love. When we're fighting, it's like that's love for us. We're fighting for
I don't like to think of myself addicted... I had a bad habit which can be broken.
My business is sex, drugs, rock and roll - but as you get older and wiser you stop a lot of the kid stuff.
Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack.
| posted on 3.21.2010 at 11:48 AM
The Wit & Wisdom of Jackie "Moms" Mabley
Jackie "Moms" Mabley
Born: March 19, 1894
There ain't nothin' an ol' man can do but bring me a message from a young one.
My husband was so ugly, he used to stand outside the doctor's office and make people sick.
Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain't never killed nobody.
The good old days. I was there. Where were they?
Life is like a game of poker: If you don't put any in the pot, there won't be any to take out.
Love is like playing checkers. You have to know which man to move.
The teenagers ain't all bad. I love 'ern if nobody else does. There ain't nothin' wrong with young people. Jus' quit lyin' to 'ern.
A woman's a woman until the day she dies, but a man's only a man as long as he can.
[Concerning a young, beautiful woman] What's she got that I ain't had 30 years longer?
They say you should say nothin' about the dead unless it's good. He's dead. Good!
[In court for breaking a chair over a man's head] Judge: Moms, why'd you break that chair over that man's head?
Moms: Well, try as I might, ya honor, I couldn't pick up that piano! (my personal fav )
WARNING: Moms was a "blue" comic - one of her dirty jokes:
"Did you know I was on President Nixon's enemies list? Yes darlin', I told Tricia that if the Pilgrims had shot bobcats instead of turkeys for
food, we'd be eating [Censored] for Thanksgiving."
| posted on 3.24.2010 at 07:44 PM
Santa Baby!.....Come on,deep down inside you knew that this was the real meaning of Christmas! Never mind that kindness to fellow man and being
selfless.Kitt's Santa Baby was and still is a classic,'cause her fine ass told the truth......This is what I want and only Santa can give it to
| posted on 3.26.2010 at 12:14 PM
The Wit & Wisdom of Eartha Kitt
Accidentally deleted post when I edited to put in her date of death.
"Santa Baby" was her signature hit. Everything that Eartha was known for - sexy, sultry, that VOICE, growling, purring - she put in that song.
Date of Birth:
January 17, 1927
Date of Death:
December 25, 2008
Don't depend on other people to be responsible for you. Don't make yourself stressed out over nonsensical things like material things.
Dr. Einstein was not successful in school, but he found something in the air from his own imagination and his own brain power, and look what he did.
I was given away. If your mother gives you away, you think everybody who comes into your life is going to give you away.
Having my animals or my children with me exorcises that feeling of not being wanted.
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.
I never take anything for granted. I may slip any minute.
I punish myself more than anybody else does if I am stupid about my actions, and I suffer, really suffer.
I used to teach dance lessons.
I've always said to my men friends, If you really care for me, darling, you will give me territory. Give me land, give me land. Jewelry, to me, is a
pain in the derriere, because you have to be watching it all the time.
Just because you are different does not mean that you have to be rejected.
Let's take care of the necessities first: give people jobs, and find a way to get us out of poverty.
My house was bugged. They couldn't find any information on me being a subversive because I happen to love America; I just don't like some of the
things the government is doing. (her house was bugged under President Johnson's watch)
My recipe for life is not being afraid of myself, afraid of what I think or of my opinions.
Orson Welles was one of these people who was defying everything the doctors told him he wasn't supposed to be doing. He was really enjoying himself
when he was eating what he wanted to eat.
The public has become my fairy godmother.
The river is constantly turning and bending and you never know where it's going to go and where you'll wind up. Following the bend in the river and
staying on your own path means that you are on the right track. Don't let anyone deter you from that.
This is where you see the truth of entertainment, because it is not edited. You see it on stage as it is happening. Even if we fall down or forget our
words, it's a part of live entertainment.
When the people who are responsible for our country ask you a direct question, I expect them to accept a direct answer, not to be blackballed because
you are telling the truth. (Kitt was invited to Pres. Johnson's White House where she told him to bring home the troops from the Viet Nam war and was
blackballed from stage, screen or any personal appearances for at least 10 years.... maybe more.)
When we want to have our own style of living, it is nobody's business but ours. What we do in private is our private business.
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