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Random Bits of Wisdom

HEALING: "I say make time to dance alone with one hand waving free."

Movie quote from: Elizabethtown (2005) - Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst)

elizPeople can get pretty serious about life.  In the touching movie, Elizabethtown, Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) is one of those people.  A high profile professional failure followed quickly by the death of his father has left him floundering in a whirlpool of self-pity and despair.  As luck would have it, he stumbles upon a delightful character who drags him reluctantly back into the healing land of the living.  We should all be so lucky.

TRUTH: “People can surprise you. Sometimes they have a great capacity to hear the truth.”

Movie quote from: The Verdict (1982) – Dr. Thompson (Joe Seneca)

the verdictIt is easier to avoid the truth than it is to deal with it head on. Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) personifies this reality in the 1982 film The Verdict. For him, it is easier to drown himself in an ocean of alcohol than it is to admit to another person that he's in over his head. Fortunately, easy is seldom the best way to go and truth has a funny way of making things right, if you’re brave enough to look it straight in the face.

HECTIC PACE: "I don't know where we've been and I've just been there!"

Movie quote from: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) - Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman)


In this classic film, two train robbers are surprised by a team of the best lawmen in the west.  To escape arrest, they ride across rocky terrain, double back down stream beds, and send a riderless horse into the wilderness.  They move at such a hectic and reactive pace, they don't really know where they've been.  This is what life feels like in today's world of constant change.

DECENCY: "Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking."

scarecrowMovie quote from: The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Scarecrow (Ray Bolger)

So much for the Don Imus radio show.  Big brave CBS just fired him for his short-sighted remarks about the women on the Rutgers basketball team.  Live by the sword, die by the sword.  However, I'm not sure who is the more offensive - Don Imus, who has a history of derogatory commentary, or the CBS executives who thought he was great until everybody else didn't.  Just once I'd like to see an executive defend media decency rather than ignoring the man behind the curtain until the jig is up.  Here's some slightly edited quotes from The Wizard of Oz that will be useful if Don's story ever makes the silver screen.

TOLERANCE: "Unpopular speech is absolutely vital to the health of our nation."

Movie quote from: The People vs Larry Flynt (1996) - Alan Isaacman (Edward Norton)flynt

During these times of increasing political and religious polarity, it is wise to remember the straight-up message of the 1996 film The People vs Larry Flynt.  The film's 'hero' is Larry Flynt, the sleazy publisher of Hustler magazine who shows little of the moral characteristics that hold our culture together.  However, his dogged defense of his right to express an unpopular thought earned him an influential victory in the Supreme Court.  Speech hasn't been the same since.

WAR: “Heroes are something we create, something we need. It's a way for us to understand what is almost incomprehensible."

Movie Quote from: Flags of Our Fathers (2006) – James Bradley (Thomas McCarthy)

War is hell.  Ordinary people are put into extraordinary circumstances, ones where survival is uncertain and traditional morality and ethics have no place.  Within these extreme conditions, people make heroic and horrific choices within the same sequence of events.  One scene in Clint Eastwood’s film, Flags of Our Fathers, sums up the complexity of choices that are made in the swirling circumstances of war.  In a brief minute of film, we see why individuals engaged in extreme warfare don’t feel worthy of the heroic person we portray them to be. 

PEACE:"I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason."

earthIn the 1951 movie, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still', the alien Klaatu comes to our planet with an important message. Ironically, he cannot deliver his vital warning because we assume the worst of new or uncertain things. Klaatu is arrested, confined, and eventually shot, all driven by our fear and suspicion of his motives. Although this movie is over 55 years old, it contains truths that would be valuable for us to consider today.

REALITY: She's television generation. The only reality she knows comes to her through the television set."

Movie quote from: Network (1976) - Max Schumacher (William Holden)

networkReality television is an oxymoron, but we're living in oxymoronic times.  People spend far too much of their day in front of a screen, watching other people's lives.  Singers, entrepreneurs, dancers, adventurers, builders, cooks, nannies, and people trying to lose weight, we like to watch them all.  However, when people are surveyed to identify the key elements of what makes a great day, watching television is never one of the choices. 

Time's Person of the Year is YOU!

TimeTIME magazine has chosen YOU as their annual Person of the Year.  Each of us controls the emerging Information Age.  We control the way our own lives unfold.  We control the planet - one person at a time.  We are the director and star of our own lives.  I'm not sure what took TIME so long to come to this understanding.  Movies have been telling us this for quite a while.  Here are five movie quotes about TIME's Person of the Year - YOU.

"Blast this Christmas music. It's joyful and triumphant."

Reel Life Wisdom Quote from: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) - The Grinch (Jim Carrey)

XmasMoney Magazine just announced the cost of buying all the gifts named in that 12 Days of Christmas song. If you're planning to buy your true love a partridge in a pear tree and all those other things, it'll cost you $18,920.59. That does not include separate rooms for the eight maids-a-milking and the ten lords-a-leaping.

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