***First things first, I would like to offer my apologies to Ms. Moneypenny and Princes Jasmen (I am adding you quote from Toni Morrison to the bottom of the post.) for both reading and commenting on the original version of this post before Skynet seeped it’s cold metal fingers in and destroyed my work. With the help of my Mexican special ops squad, and Christian Bale I’ve put the machines back in their place for now. They won’t be screwing with Francis anymore this week. This is the updated version. Enjoy. ***
I’ve always believed that there is a quote apropos to every situation you may find yourself in. A few well placed poignant words can easily sum up the right moment. You don’t always have to agree with the source of the quotes but sometimes you have to accept the truth behind the words. Some of my favorite quotes are silly, and some can actually apply to your life. Check out a few of my favs and let me know what you think.
“I can’t sit around nursing anger. It gets in the way of work.”– Ta-Nehisi Coates, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
I started reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ daily columns on The Atlantic late this spring. Dude can write about a vast variety of things pretty well. In a perfect world I would rather Coates be all over the place than Roland Martin. In a June 29th post Coates, a Civil War buff, posted a blog about the final days of Ulysses S. Grant. One commenter spoke of reconciliation between the North and the South as well as blacks and whites from the time of the Reconstruction to the present. Coates, who is very hands on (Hell, he answered an e-mail from me about this quote.) summed his feelings of that era and the countries history of race relations up with “I can’t sit around nursing anger. It gets in the way of work.” Sometimes in life you just have to let go of whatever baggage, whether racial, emotional, or physical and move forward.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Ben Parker (Spider-Man), father figure, uncle
For the bulk of the publication history of Spider-Man, Peter Parker has been portrayed as bit of a man-boy. Not a man-boy in the arrogant “Look what I just did.” Kanye West way, but more in a I was forced to become a man way too early, fight weirdoes and muggers after school way, and take care of Aunt May type of way. Before his death, Ben Parker, Peter Parker’s uncle and de facto father bestowed a key piece of knowledge upon his teenaged nephew “With great power comes great responsibility.” Whether Peter was never bitten by that radioactive spider while standing next to Jessica Jones-Cage and Harry Osborn didn’t matter, he knew that he always had to do the right thing. This is the exact same message Da Mayor would convey to Mookie.
“Sweat saves blood.” —Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, general in the German Army, badass
Erwin Rommel was a badass plain and simple. There are no other words better to describe the most famous German military officer since The Red Baron and von Blucher. Rommel was viewed as a brilliant soldier, tactician, respected adversary, and supernatural boogey man by his enemies. To his men he was just the man. “Sweat saves blood.” was a told to his men numerous times during training because like every coach or teacher worth their pay, Rommel knew practice didn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.
“You play in dirt, you get dirty.” –Officer Jimmy McNulty (The Wire)
For all of his faults Jimmy McNulty was a damn good policeman. If he fought his inner demons the way he fought crime McNulty may have been the best TV lawman ever. Underneath the arrogance, wanton sexual encounters, and drinking McNulty knew his stuff. When Officer Walker, a dirty cop in McNulty’s division began violating many of the time honored rules between the cops and robbers, and got other cops riled-up in the process McNulty laid it out plain for him in a dinner “You play in dirt, you get dirty.” For a drunken, whoremonger McNulty knew that the universe did in fact take names and kick a**.
“I’m just a man, no more enlightened than any other.” –Detective Gus Ramone (The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos)
A while back I did a post on my favorite writers and George Pelecanos was on it. Reading his work makes you feel like you’re caught in an episode of The Wire except it’s set in D.C. In The Night Gardener, Det. Gus Ramone has his plate full. He’s Italian-American and his wife Regina is black. He’s struggling to raise two black children in an ever dangerous city, while dealing with the stress of his job—homicide detective. After explaining to his teenage son Diego that his friend Asa, who was initially thought to been the victim of a serial killer known as the Palindrome Murderer, had in fact committed suicide because Asa could not deal with the fact that he was homosexual, teenaged, and black. After comforting Diego, Ramone converses with Regina about the situation and is asked if he is going to lighten up with the joke cracking about gays on his job and Ramone simply says “I’m just a man, no more enlightened than any other.” Sometimes as a man all you can do is try. Own up to what you are and make an effort to become better.
“It’s clobberin’ time!” – Benjamin J. Grimm/The Thing (Marvel Comics)
In general superheroes are pretty people. If you’re a superhero who looks like ugly had a one-nighter with a rock quarry, “tooted and booted” and nine months later the rock quarry gave birth to you, then you have to set yourself apart. So you pretty much have to be a tough guy type. Whether you’re holding the line against the Hulk or fighting Skrulls with your family you’re always the first line of defense until help arrives. So to keep your friends in family’s heads in the game you bellow your famous catchphrase “It’s clobberin’ time!” As rallying cries go, It’s not pretty but it works.
“He’s not fast, he’s sudden!” — Gordon Solie, pro wrestling announcer and the narrator to endless hours of boyhood amusement on Saturday mornings.
When I was a kid I loved Saturday mornings. After I watched whatever the cartoon of the moment was and played outside, I would head over to my grandfather’s house next door around noon and his TV would be turned to channel five in Charleston. (To this day I have yet to figure out why his house was like the only house in the area that could pick up stations from Charleston.) NWA wrestling came on every Saturday at noon on that channel and my grandfather and I would enjoy our hour of fake entertainment. NWA wrestling was similar to the product that the WWF would show except it was less glitzy and had more of a regional feel to it. The main announcer of the time was a man named Gordon Solie who looked like he was old enough to remember when women couldn’t vote. Solie spoke in a flat monotone voice and described every last aspect of the in ring “action.” I only remember two of his phrases: He opened every show by saying “This is Gordon Solie.” and “He’s not fast, he’s sudden!” Yes, it was still fake but it was the best hour and elementary school kid could spend on a Saturday.
“A man can’t ride your back unless It’s bent.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Icon
MLK said a lot of things but this is my favorite quote of his. It doesn’t need to be explained through my half-assed prose, the nine word sentence speaks for itself. This message should be placed into the mind of every black male in this country at birth and perhaps the sagging pants and skinny jeans will go to the wayside.
“This ain’t no tennis match!” – Lawrence Taylor, linebacker, psychopath
Somewhere between Dick Butkus and Ray Lewis is Lawrence Taylor. Lawrence Taylor excelled in a profession that required high levels of pain and violence. During the 80’s NFL Films recorded sideline conversations of the leagues big names. While on tape L.T. said a lot of things but once he yelled “This ain’t no tennis match!” and with those words described the urgency of the NFL.
So these are some of my favorites. Again I apologize for yesterday’s hiccup, but feel free to add your favorite quotes.
Vaya con Dios.
***Below is Princess Jasmen’s quote contribution from yesterday.***
“You wanna fly, you gotta give up the sh*t that weighs you down-“