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Hyperion April 4, 2000

#2 We have nothing to fear except Barbra Streisand

Hearty salutations to all my avid readers, somewhat less-enthusiastic but still supportive family members and unindicted co-conspirators:

I was pleased at the response to my first column on seatbelt and helmet freedom. Of the 143 messages I got back, two criticized me profusely (sample line: “you’re worse than Hitler!”) and the other 141 were desperately trying not to have to pay any money for having read the piece. Not to worry! I was contacted by the Federal Communications Commission and warned I could not do as I had planned. It turns out I have no “controlling legal authority” (Al Gore slips through my fingers yet again*) to assess a “reading fee” and if I continued my “illegal activity” I could get “7 to 10 years” in prison.

[*Al Gore’s response to how he could get away with making campaign solicitations on federal property-illegal for mere mortals- was that there was no “controlling legal authority”]

“2B or not 2B; that is the question. Why didn’t I write down her apartment number before I left the house?”


Today I want to talk about a sad chapter in human history, Misquotations. This is not a subject that gets a lot of attention in the media; why should it when it is the Media that perpetrates the misquotes generation after generation. My research has shown a shadow history that has been kept hidden from the public. The all powerful ILLUMINATI-and here I’m speaking of the guild known as Historians-has suppressed, edited, and obliterated many words of history to fit their nefarious schemes. I am not exactly sure why they do this, but who can know the mind of an historian. They have to be a little crazy just to go into such a vocation. Not always was the original quote changed for political purposes. Sometimes it was just simple misunderstanding, but all too often, the ulterior motives of the quoter came into play.

Our own country’s history is rife with this. Back in the days leading up to the American Revolution, the Patriots were looking for a spark plug to galvanize the Rebel forces (I guess Luke Skywalker was not available). They found that in Patrick Henry. But Patrick Henry did not want to be found. A life-long sufferer of a pituitary gland problem, Henry wanted nothing more than to stay out of the limelight. In fact, it was in a combination of frustration and desperation at always being teased by Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of those early leaders that Patrick finally uttered his now-famous but misquoted ultimatum: “Give me puberty or give me death!” He found it particularly cruel that Madison, Adams, and the others would take his plea for normalcy and use it as pro-war propaganda.

Misquoting did not start with America, however. If we look back in one of our oldest references-the Bible-we find several misquotes. For instance, in Joshua 24:15 what was actually said was: “As for me and my house, we are not going to pay a lot for this muffler.” This of course just adds to the legion number of confusing passages in the Bible, but does go a long way towards establishing the Bible as a truly prophetic work.

Jesus was also not immune to being misquoted. After his success with the bread and the fish and the water/wine triumph, Jesus was much in demand on the social scene. One of the biggest challenges Jesus faced was when he was called on deliver 28,573 Dixie Cups to nine year olds at a birthday party. One of the reasons this was so daunting was that ice cream had not yet been invented. At one point, a panicky mother came to check on the Lord’s progress and Jesus told her “Many are cold but few are frozen.”

Sometimes the misquote is simply a problem with the translation. “Et tu, Brute?” has been famously attributed to Julius Caesar as “And you, too, Brutus?” According to my sources, though, with just a couple of letters spelled differently what Julius actually said was “If you can get through March, it’s all down hill after that.”

Occasionally a person says the right thing, but it is not what they are supposed to say. The most famous example here is Neil Armstrong, who said “That’s one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.” What he was supposed to say was “One small step for a man…” Whether the “a” was lost in space-static as Armstrong claims, or whether he got stage fright (as in the Universal Studios sound stage #12, where the “moon landing” was filmed) will never be known. Marie Antoinette is another famous example. She actually said “Let them eat cake.” What she was paid to say, though, was “Let them eat Pierre’s Snacktastic Cake, now in three new exciting flavors. Available at fine grocers everywhere.” Her failure to fulfill her celebrity endorsement threw fuel on the fire of an already unstable city and just goes to prove my old maxim “You can never trust the French”.

As we can see, human history is replete with people being misquoted, for a variety of reasons. It would do us good to read “history” with a grain of salt, for we can never be sure if the author is bent on taking over the world (or at least the local Waffle House, which would be just as bad).

Remember, It ain’t over till the fat lady starts taking off her clothes, at which point I’m outta there.

April 4, 2000


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