great zings throughout history

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Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
- Mark Twain

am0n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

Montagu: I don't know whether you'll die on the gallows or of the pox

Wilkes: That will depend on whether i embrace your principles or your mistress

Just like you, except hot (ShariVari), Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:05 (1 year ago) Permalink

yes

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:05 (1 year ago) Permalink

attributed to some french dude also iirc

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:06 (1 year ago) Permalink

now that is a zing

am0n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

I'm going to just stipulate the collected zings of Dorothy Parker, but for example:

"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised."

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

Capote on Kerouac: "That's not writing, that's typing."
Mickey Mantle on Jim Bouton and Ball Four: "Who?"

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 00:29 (1 year ago) Permalink

Tragedy is when I cut my finger, comedy is when you fall down a hole and die - Woody Allen.

Prob my favourite ever quote.

Except you have both the quote and the credit wrong...

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Sunday, 29 April 2012 01:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

Those guys grew up in L.A. and they don't have cow-shit on their boots - they just got dog shit from Laurel Canyon. - Tom Waits

windjammer voyage (blank), Sunday, 29 April 2012 01:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

Tragedy is when I cut my finger, comedy is when you fall down a hole and die - Woody Allen.

Prob my favourite ever quote.

Except you have both the quote and the credit wrong.

really? i think i first saw this quoted in another book, but definitely as i repeated it here. who was it really?

ooooiiiioooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaoooooh un - bi - leevable! (LocalGarda), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

"This book fills a much-needed gap." - Moses Hadas

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

xp

there are a bunch of variations on that tragedy/comedy line, but they're all attributed to mel brooks

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

moses hadas quote is awesome

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah i googled a bit, it was credited to woody allen when i first encountered it, really annoying to be wrong about it, great quote though.

ooooiiiioooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaoooooh un - bi - leevable! (LocalGarda), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

classic Parker: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."

GoT SPOILER ALERT (Gukbe), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

Nancy Astor: "If you were my husband, I'd poison your tea."

Winston Churchill: "Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it."

Choc. Clusterman (contenderizer), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

PETER GRANT: "Hello, I'm Peter Grant. I manage Led Zeppelin."

BOB DYLAN: "Hey, I don't come to you with my problems, do I?"

pplains, Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

The Parker isn't real, afaik

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

really?

GoT SPOILER ALERT (Gukbe), Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

JFK: "If this plane crashed, we'd probably all be killed, wouldn't we?"

MORT SAHL: "Yes, Mr. President."

JFK: "And it occurs to me that your name would be in very small print."

pplains, Sunday, 29 April 2012 03:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

oh sick burn

Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Sunday, 29 April 2012 04:05 (1 year ago) Permalink

"open manhole" is the usual version of the Brooks quote, specificity makes it funnier

┗|∵|┓ (sic), Sunday, 29 April 2012 04:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

there have been a few Snopes/Straight Dope/etc. forum investigations of the Parker quote and no one can ever find that she actually said it (usually attributed to a review of Atlas Shrugged or a Benito Mussolini novel, the latter is definitely untrue)

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Sunday, 29 April 2012 04:43 (1 year ago) Permalink

too long to be a zing, but Whittaker Chambers's Atlas Shrugged review is probably the best/most brutal literary takedown
"Out of a lifetime of reading, I can recall no other book in which a tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained. Its shrillness is without reprieve. Its dogmatism is without appeal….Therefore, resistance to the Message cannot be tolerated because disagreement can never be merely honest, prudent, or just humanly fallible. Dissent from revelation so final (because, the author would say, so reasonable) can only be willfully wicked. There are ways of dealing with such wickedness, and, in fact, right reason itself enjoins them. From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!”"

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Sunday, 29 April 2012 04:46 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol that tom waits quote reminds me of casey kasem's 'these guys are from england and who gives a shit'

balls, Sunday, 29 April 2012 04:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

not quite zings, perhaps, but vladimir nabokov was the king of offhand dismissals:

Ever since the days when such formidable mediocrities as Galsworthy, Dreiser, Tagore, Maxim Gorky, Romain Rolland and Thomas Mann were being accepted as geniuses, I have been perplexed and amused by fabricated notions about so-called "great books." That, for instance, Mann's asinine "Death in Venice," or Pasternak's melodramatic, vilely written "Dr. Zhivago," or Faulkner's corn-cobby chronicles can be considered "masterpieces" or at least what journalists term "great books," is to me the sort of absurd delusion as when a hypnotized person makes love to a chair.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Sunday, 29 April 2012 08:39 (1 year ago) Permalink

George Bernard Shaw, NSFW

ILX uh-huh-uh uh-huh uh-huh BEEP BOOP BOOP BEEP (snoball), Sunday, 29 April 2012 08:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

(note 'epigram' was early 90's speak for 'zing')

ILX uh-huh-uh uh-huh uh-huh BEEP BOOP BOOP BEEP (snoball), Sunday, 29 April 2012 08:51 (1 year ago) Permalink

early 1990s?

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 09:16 (1 year ago) Permalink

Martin Luther then attacked Henry VIII in print, calling him a “pig, dolt, and liar”. [9]:227 At the request of Henry VIII, More set about composing a rebuttal: the resulting Responsio ad Lutherum was published at the end of 1523. In the Responsio, More defended the supremacy of the papacy, the sacraments, and other church traditions. More’s language, like Luther’s, was virulent, and he branded Luther an “ape”, a “drunkard”, and a “lousy little friar” amongst other insults. [9]:230 While writing under the pseudonym of Rosseus, More mirrors Luther's own unscholarly use of language. At one point More offers to:

"throw back into your paternity's shitty mouth, truly the shit-pool of all shit, all the muck and shit which your damnable rottenness has vomited up". [16]

Roberto Spiralli, Sunday, 29 April 2012 12:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

awesome thread

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

(xpost) I can't find it, but I've got a book of interviews with Nabokov somewhere, and his putdowns of other writers are pretty great.

Ditto Kael's back-to-back takedowns of Siegfried Kracauer and (of course) Sarris in I Lost It at the Movies, although both pieces tend to methodically build arguments rather than zing.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

(allegedly)

Somerset Maugham watching Spencer Tracy during filming of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: "Which one is he playing now?"

seapunk run. run punk run! (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:10 (1 year ago) Permalink

I'm with Nabokov on Pasternak and Faulkner, but Mann's asinine "Death in Venice"? ;_;

emil.y, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:16 (1 year ago) Permalink

Also, I've read a bit of Nabokov's literary criticism now, and for someone who can reach the heights he can (for which read: OMG Pale Fire is amazing) he's pretty buttoned up and conservative in his thinking...

emil.y, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

GB Shaw once wrote in a book review, "Once you put it down, you can't pick it up"

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

Ravel has refused the Legion d'honneur, but all his music accepts it

(satie)

Ms Tum-Bla-Wi-Tee (nakhchivan), Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

I often laugh at well crafted (or just outrageously funny) putdowns independent of whether I agree with them or not. (Re Nabokov.)

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

Nabokov loved Cheever's "The Country Husband" so.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

Gore Vee-dal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little."

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

William F. Buckley's famous rebuttal to John Lindsay during a '65 mayoral race sort of fits: "I am satisfied to sit back and contemplate my own former eloquence."

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

I often laugh at well crafted (or just outrageously funny) putdowns independent of whether I agree with them or not. (Re Nabokov.)

― clemenza, Sunday, April 29, 2012 1:30 PM (47 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

cf v much hitchens

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

Bide my shiny metal, ass -- Bender

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

in bender's ass, we abide

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

mart & hitch

The year was 1981. We were in a tiny Italian restaurant in west London, where we would soon be joined by our future first wives. Two elegant young men in waisted suits were unignorably and interminably fussing with the staff about rearranging the tables, to accommodate the large party they expected. It was an intensely class-conscious era (because the class system was dying); Christopher and I were candidly lower-middle bohemian, and the two young men were raffishly minor-gentry (they had the air of those who await, with epic stoicism, the deaths of elderly relatives). At length, one of them approached our table, and sank smoothly to his haunches, seeming to pout out through the fine strands of his fringe. The crouch, the fringe, the pout: these had clearly enjoyed many successes in the matter of bending others to his will. After a flirtatious pause he said, “You’re going to hate us for this.”

And Christopher said, “We hate you already.”

(REAL NAME) (m coleman), Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

Nabokov's widely spread disdain can be amusing but I don't see put-downs from him in the fabulous way cited from Parker and others upthread -- the kind of compressed wit that shows you a little of the quality that human consciousness has added to the universe

(though I do remember VN saying something about Bellow that amused me, whatever it was.)

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

I can precisely imagine Hitchens saying that, but I don't feel any sympathy or solidarity with him saying it - cos it's him and the way he would say it

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

whereas if it were Morrissey I would dig it.

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

I don't see put-downs from him in the fabulous way cited from Parker and others upthread -- the kind of compressed wit that shows you a little of the quality that human consciousness has added to the universe

Agree that brevity is the trickiest part--most one-liners come off as smarmy, or clumsily sarcastic, or obvious, and aren't funny at all. That's why I gravitate to things like Kael's "Circles and Squares," which is more like careful dismantling than zinging. But if you can get it right--Capote's line on Kerouac is the greatest example for me--perfection.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

I like Capote's line but have never been totally sure what it means

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

most of [Nabokov's] interviews have the exact same 'voice' as most of his fiction.

iirc, he'd require the interviewer's list of questions be submitted to him, with his responses entirely written rather than spontaneous.

"Fourvel - it's like Fievel, but one less." (R Baez), Sunday, 29 April 2012 23:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

ahead of his time with that one

Number None, Sunday, 29 April 2012 23:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

then he would revise his answers!

xpost

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 April 2012 00:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

lot of amazing zing scholarship itt... not

― lag∞n, Sunday, April 29, 2012 11:50 AM

lock thread pls

am0n, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

irc, he'd require the interviewer's list of questions be submitted to him, with his responses entirely written rather than spontaneous.

Cf., Nat Hentoff's 1966 Dylan interview in Playboy, espcially Dylan's explanation of how he became a rock and roll star. From the same interview:

PLAYBOY: Did you ever have the standard boyhood dream of growing up to be President?
DYLAN: No. When I was a boy, Harry Truman was President; who'd want to be Harry Truman?

clemenza, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:16 (1 year ago) Permalink

no im srs lock the thread

am0n, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

:-/

flopson, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

someone zing amon

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, 30 April 2012 00:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

unzingable

arsenio and old ma$e (m bison), Monday, 30 April 2012 00:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

I will zing him

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, 30 April 2012 00:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

...

flopson, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

zinging mt. everest

dayo, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

It's always some zing.

clemenza, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

hello anon

― The Startrekman, Sunday, April 29, 2012 4:19 PM (Yesterday)

the sunno)))boys (electricsound), Monday, 30 April 2012 00:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Monday, 30 April 2012 00:31 (1 year ago) Permalink

AH SAY HEY MON

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 April 2012 00:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

lol Startrekman

am0n, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

sick burn

am0n, Monday, 30 April 2012 00:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

lol that tom waits quote reminds me of casey kasem's 'these guys are from england and who gives a shit'

― balls, Sunday, 29 April 2012 04:59

p sure that was prof. wgw of this parish tho?

Randy Carol (darraghmac), Sunday, 30 September 2012 00:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

This thread will belong to Mitt Romney come Wednesday.

Symmetry required it: 2012 american general election thread #2

clemenza, Sunday, 30 September 2012 01:05 (1 year ago) Permalink

Noel Gallagher on Jack White
“He looks like Zorro on doughnuts.”

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Sunday, 30 September 2012 02:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

"As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he's a great military man, I want you to know that."[21]

RIP big man

things that are jokes pretty much (Nilmar Honorato da Silva), Friday, 28 December 2012 03:17 (1 year ago) Permalink

was Rummy ever this zingy?

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 December 2012 03:18 (1 year ago) Permalink

no but he was a better epistemologist

things that are jokes pretty much (Nilmar Honorato da Silva), Friday, 28 December 2012 03:21 (1 year ago) Permalink

zinging saddam just seems too easy

iatee, Friday, 28 December 2012 03:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

tbf a few other dudes with those qualifications were more successful than norm

mookieproof, Friday, 28 December 2012 03:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

乒乓, Thursday, 21 March 2013 17:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

In 1958 Winston Churchill broke his spine in a fall and was required to sleep with a bedrest, which he hated. He and nurse Roy Howells got into a heated argument in which the two swore at one another.

In making up afterward, Churchill said, “You were very rude to me, you know.”

Howells said, “Yes, but you were rude too.”

Churchill said, “Yes, but I am a great man.”

“There was no answer to that,” Howells remembered later. “He knew, as I and the rest of the world knew, that he was right.”

http://www.futilitycloset.com/2013/03/22/detente/ (!)

s.clover, Saturday, 23 March 2013 01:56 (1 year ago) Permalink

Those guys grew up in L.A. and they don't have cow-shit on their boots - they just got dog shit from Laurel Canyon. - Tom Waits

accidental self zing imo

wk, Saturday, 23 March 2013 04:36 (1 year ago) Permalink

XP it doesn't really work so well as a zing if the person saying it seems like a d-bag who's hard to sympathize with

Poliopolice, Saturday, 23 March 2013 05:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah remember all those country rock albums tom waits made

balls, Saturday, 23 March 2013 05:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

In 2004 former Scottish Orange Order member Adam Ingram sued MP George Galloway for saying in his autobiography that Ingram had "played the flute in a sectarian, anti-Catholic, Protestant-supremacist Orange Order band".

Judge Lord Kingarth ruled that the phrase was 'fair comment' on the Orange Order

should we bin tapping? (darraghmac), Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:16 (9 months ago) Permalink

Tho he did note, tbf, that there was no evidence of Ingram ever having played the flute.

should we bin tapping? (darraghmac), Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:16 (9 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

The Queen’s army caught Oilill at Log na Fola, (the bloody hollow) leading to the following “rann”:

May you have wet arses
Munster scum, evil rogues,
Without benefit of sun,
Or bee or flower,
In a lonely hollow,
Without cerements in misery,
May the hordes of hell follow you
Round and round forever and forever

his LIPS !!! (darraghmac), Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:26 (7 months ago) Permalink

not so much a zing as a Bardic Hardmen entry?

Cap'n Save-a-Co. (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:32 (7 months ago) Permalink

they killed them immediately afterwards, idk where that leaves the balance tbh

his LIPS !!! (darraghmac), Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:35 (7 months ago) Permalink

agreed it deserves recognition, anyway

Cap'n Save-a-Co. (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 12 September 2013 10:37 (7 months ago) Permalink

Would work fine and dandy as a "resignation from ILX speech"

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Thursday, 12 September 2013 11:15 (7 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Soon after it was published, statisticians from the American Statistical Association claimed "a random selection of three people would have been better than a group of 300 chosen by Mr. Kinsey".

Nilmar Honorato da Silva, Thursday, 3 October 2013 13:46 (6 months ago) Permalink


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