The Internet Thought Leader Quote Quiz

No Dying Man Ever Wished He Had Invested More Time

Internet Thought Leader Quote Quiz

The intrepid Internet surfer eventually discovers that – packed in between wise cracking cats and vapid affirmations – some highly intelligent social commentary awaits. But how familiar are you with the Internet’s most influential thought leaders? Below are 20 carefully selected nuggets, with multiple possible authors. Can you source them accurately?

1. “With all the expertise being volunteered on the Internet, ignorance is rapidly becoming a priceless commodity.”

a.) Mark Zuckerberg
b.) Taz Mopula
c.) Larry Page
d.) Jack Dorsey

2. “I avoid all political discussions because the doctor told me to reduce my daily intake of anger and stupidity.”

a.) Karl Rove
b.) Michele Bachmann
c.) Taz Mopula
d.) Glenn Beck

3. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me every day and you’re ready to run for office.”

a.) Taz Mopula
b.) Sarah Palin
c.) Reverend Al Sharpton
d.) Jeffrey Dahmer

4. “New app enables users to bravely condemn global injustice and insult authority figures without budging from comfy recliner!”

a.) Anonymous
b.) Abbie Hoffman
c.) Nelson Mandela
d.) Taz Mopula

5. “There are no guarantees in life, not even death and taxes, especially if you’re a corporation.”

a.) Paul Volcker
b.) Taz Mopula
c.) Alan Greenspan
d.) John Wayne Gacy

6. “American liberals, celebrated for their tolerance, stalwartly defend the right of wretched refuse to agree with them.”

a.) Taz Mopula
b.) Noam Chomsky
c.) Maya Angelou
d.) Idi Amin Dada

7. “Democracy guarantees the right to choose the wrong person.”

a.) Ronald Reagan
b.) Vlad the Impaler
c.) Taz Mopula
d.) George W. Bush

8. “Political Correctness: An experiment in social engineering which holds that renaming dung mousse au chocolat makes it edible.”

a.) Oprah Winfrey
b.) Ellen DeGeneres
c.) Taz Mopula
d.) David Berkowitz

9. “The problem with Democracy is that it allows absolutely everybody to participate; fortunately they don’t.”

a.) Will Rogers
b.) Taz Mopula
c.) H. L. Mencken
d.) Mark Twain

10. “Often it is through the process of explaining a concept to others that we come to fully appreciate the depth of our ignorance.”

a.) Rush Limbaugh
b.) Ann Coulter
c.) Pol Pot
d.) Taz Mopula

11. “Learning how to ask for help is essential; but beware of zealots, all zealots, they will help you to death.”

a.) Moammar Khadafi
b.) Taz Mopula
c.) Rumi
d.) Yanni

12. “Think about it. If I knew of a way to make loads of money without working hard, would I share it with you?”

a.) Taz Mopula
b.) Tony Robbins
c.) Wayne Dwyer
d.) Pema Chödrön

13. “Those who would do the right thing because it is, conveniently, also the expedient thing, are already morally bankrupt.”

a.) Jesse Jackson
b.) Janet Jackson
c.) Andrew Jackson
d.) Taz Mopula

14. “There is only one truly effective way to defend yourself against terrorists; stop creating them.”

a.) Dick Cheney
b.) Robert McNamara
c.) Barbra Streisand
d.) Taz Mopula

15. “War is extremely useful for those eager to disprove evolution.”

a.) Charles Darwin
b.) Taz Mopula
c.) Gregor Mendel
d.) Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

16. “Having a poo-flinging monkey on your back may be tiresome, but it’s far worse for your adversaries.”

a.) Duane Chapman
b.) Taz Mopula
c.) Dian Fossey
d.) Steve Irwin

17. “History repeats itself with tedious insistence; mankind seems determined to perfect its imperfections.”

a.) Nostradamus
b.) John Edward
c.) Christopher Hitchens
d.) Taz Mopula

18. “If your efforts have assuaged the suffering of just one road-weary, hopeless soul; you probably aren’t trying very hard.”

a.) Dalai Lama
b.) Charles Manson
c.) Taz Mopula
d.) Arsenio Hall

19. “WWIII is over; don’t you remember? It was US against US; and we lost.”

a.) Taz Mopula
b.) Ludacris
c.) Gil Scott Heron
d.) Fatty Fat Boy

20. “Should you meet someone who claims that visualizing a thing makes it so; tell them to visualize being flattened by a bus.”

a.) Wayne Dyer
b.) Joseph Campbell
c.) Glen Campbell
d.) Taz Mopula

Answers will be posted in tomorrow’s blog.

One-Sentence Stories

Good Editing Almost As Good As Being More Talented

Despite a manly thrashing from Ernest Hemingway, meted out with pugilistic zeal, the mime refused to speak.

Garrison Keillor inhaled deeply during a monologue; passed out, and awoke hours later in a pool of his own gravitas.

Charles Bukowski stared at the woozy red label and understood at last that Blatz Beer was both a product name and a promise.

It had become impossible for Gertrude Stein to pretend she didn’t enjoy rebuilding automatic transmissions.

Despite assembling a stable of star performers, William Burroughs eventually abandoned his dreams of building a world-class cockroach racetrack.

In an Entertainment Tonight exclusive interview, Satan reveals the key to Oprah Winfrey’s success and adds that her soul was so small; within days of making the deal, he misplaced it.

Laughter ensued when the actual Rolling Stones were accidentally enshrined in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and no one knew the difference.

In the course of attacking and robbing Brad Pitt, hardened New York City gang members observed that, even with a gun to his head, the tabloid staple was unable to act scared.

Tristan Tzara, Marcel Duchamp, and René Magritte either did or did not walk into a bar holding a box marked “Schrödinger’s Cat”.

Robin Williams discovered he was unable to stop talking about Tourette’s Syndrome.

“Help yourself,” urged Wayne Dyer, Zig Zigler and Tony Robbins; then they did.

Universally admired and ridiculously rich, Eric Clapton realized he no longer had the blues and abandoned his musical career to operate a barbeque shack in Lubbock.

As George W. Bush awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found that he had not been transformed in his bed, he was still a gigantic insect.

After weeks of trying, Charlie Sheen realized that it is practically impossible to perform brain surgery on yourself, even with a really good mirror.

In the midst of an ether-induced hallucination, Hunter Thompson lapsed into sincerity and was inconsolable for weeks.

No Man Is A Hero To His Valet

butlers and valets portrait

Long ago I was employed by a massive corporation in the business of manufacturing fabulously expensive, mediocre products that were virtually obsolete before installation had been finalized. Within this corporation was a department, enigmatically referred to as Human Resources, consisting exclusively of individuals thoroughly unqualified for meaningful employment.

One day, desperately casting about for ways to justify its existence, the HR Department announced Bring Your Daughter To Work Day. With uncharacteristic esprit de corps I chose to participate in this disingenuous exercise. My daughter, let’s call her Guadalupe, was eight at the time, and very like me.

At one point my manager; let’s call him Chumley Throckmorton, called her into his office. Chumley was a lovely man, painfully sincere, unassuming, and a subscriber to that delicious myth that it is possible, even desirable, to please everyone.

He told her to sit down in his visitor’s chair. She did. Looking at her and exuding all the gravitas he could muster Chumley said, “Guadalupe, I just want to tell you that your father is the funniest man I have ever met.”

My daughter’s legs did not reach the industrial grade carpeting on the floor of his cramped office and she swung her feet back and forth thoughtlessly, contemplating the ubiquitous baseball memorabilia.

Finally she looked Chumley square in the eye and, with a deadpan expression worthy of Buster Keaton asked, “Get out much?”

Chuckles the Depressed Clown

Chuckles Depressed Clown

Years ago I was traveling from Philly to L.A. on business and found myself seated next to an unremarkable gentleman – mid-40s, clean-shaven, tall, closely-cropped hair, dressed casually but in all regards neat and presentable. One is captive on a plane and I hoped he understood the difference between friendly and intrusive.

Half an hour later this is what I knew about him. He was a clown who went by the name Chuckles and made a modest living working birthday parties, fairs, etc. Over the past year he had become involved in a legal contest with a rival clown, Lord Chumley, who he’d accused of stealing his make-up.

Chuckles explained to me at some length that every clown develops his/her unique look, as individual as a fingerprint. For one clown to steal the look of another clown was egregious. At this point he’d produced a very slick portfolio containing dozens of photographs showing him in full clown regalia – his make-up was so absolutely generic that I could not imagine anybody stealing it unless the aim was to resemble every other clown in the world.

But, as it turned out, larcenous colleagues provided only the beginning of a sad tale Chuckles told with hideous, obligatory persistence worthy of the ancient mariner. The crux of it was as old as time, love gone wrong, a broken heart. It turned out that Mrs. Chuckles had been wooed by a juggler and abandoned my traveling companion, leaving only a note. As Chuckles began to launch into this part of his story he gradually lost all semblance of composure and soon was crying convulsively, unable to complete a sentence without gasping for breath once or twice between sobs.

I am comfortable with the dark side of humor; but, one has limits. Certainly there was something deliciously ironic about a clown named Chuckles entangled in a copyright dispute with another clown, so shattered by romance on the rocks he could not contain his despondence; yes, but there was also something creepy and disturbing about it – and the flight was long. So, feeling only slightly guilty, I excused myself and found another seat, two rows further back.

For the balance of the trip I watched Chuckles make balloon animals which were passed from one person to the next and retained as desired. I suppose he made about fifty before becoming so lightheaded he had to take a nap. Dachshunds, hippopotami, giraffes, alligators, whales – he really was quite remarkable…and I thought to myself, this is a metaphor for life.

A colleague steals your act, a juggler steals your girl – if you’re the clown for the job, you don’t let it get you. You lace up the inflatable shoes, stick on the red nose, and make your goddamn balloon animals just like any other day. You rock, Chuckles.

But what I remember most from that trip is what happened after we landed. Row after row of passengers stood up, collected their carry on articles from the overhead compartments, and gathered themselves for the walk ahead. The kids, sure, I got that, and the teenagers too. But even the hot shot executives, smart as could be in 3-piece suits with leather attaché cases – they too all had their souvenir, brightly colored balloon animals tucked neatly under their arms, like irreplaceable, collectible artifacts. They looked absolutely preposterous, of course, especially because, without exception, not one of them was smiling.

When You Meet Your Demon, Please Be Gentle

Barbie Anti-Christ

The summer of 1969 found me in McGrath, Alaska, which is only a little further from the moon than it is from Woodstock, New York. I was working for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) as an EFF (Emergency Fire Fighter), being dropped by helicopters into the middle of active forest fires throughout the state. Specifically, I was on a back-burning crew, traipsing through dry forests with a flamethrower, fighting oncoming forest fires by depriving them of their fuel. I am glad to report this is the closest I’ve ever come to war.

McGrath, at the time, was little more than a Government airstrip, some BLM barracks, and a handful of small buildings connected by wooden sidewalks. The pride of McGrath was a log cabin that served passably as a bar in an area where, with no women to be found, blue-collar men could drink to their satisfaction. A massive moose head, antlers adorned with tinsel, dominated the bar area and the opposing wall featured a full-sized stuffed grizzly bear forbiddingly poised next to the jukebox.

One evening, in-between assignments, I was passing time with Jake, a fellow EFF. We had money, time, and absolutely no responsibilities – consequently, the phrase about idle hands being the devil’s workshop came alive until at last we were drunk; not inebriated, tipsy, three sheets to the wind – not even tight as a boiled owl – just good old fashioned, funky monkey drunk.

Jake excused himself to use The Little Firefighters Room and I was left with the moose who, looking even more glassy-eyed than I did, stared at me with the gloomy insistence so frequently observed among the beheaded. Long minutes later I heard riotous laughter to my right and saw Jake emerging from the bathroom. He lunged and lurched back and threw himself down on his stool, clutching his right hand which was bleeding profusely

“What happened?” I asked.
“I was washing my hands and I stared at the face looking back at me and it was just so fucking ugly I had to punch it.” He laughed enthusiastically until tears began to form.

The bartender looked on wordlessly. I walked Jake back to the barracks and dressed his wounds.

Research Links Mental Illness And Bad Luck

pawn shop2

Lord Chumley Frampton, Dean of Statistical Analysis at Basingstoke University, stunned the mental health community recently by announcing that his team of researchers had located a quantifiable connection between mental illness and bad luck. While a relationship has been suspected for decades, Lord Frampton is the first to isolate it.

The following comments are excerpted from Lord Frampton’s prepared statement.

“People erroneously believe that bad luck is a natural force, like gravity, over which they are powerless. But our research indicates that in fact bad luck is like a cloud of metal filings always in our midst, which can be attracted simply by waving a magnet in the air. Moods, behaviors, attitudes, expectations and even wardrobe can take the place of this metaphorical magnet, summoning the four horsemen of bad luck into our camp and challenging them to do their very worst. It is almost as if we manufacture our own fortunes.

“What amazed the team was an astounding correlation between the presence of mental illness and a propensity towards bad luck. Bear in mind that we did not initially target the mentally ill. Over time, a rapidly growing mountain of anecdotal evidence caused us to shift our focus. Here are just a few of the findings that led us to our hypothesis.”

Schizophrenics are 10 times more likely to sit on a porcupine than the average citizen. While there is no science to suggest that schizophrenic porcupines are 10 times more likely to be sat upon, we do suspect it. The number of schizophrenic porcupines sat upon by schizophrenic human beings in a given year is statistically insignificant.

Clinically Depressed individuals are 17 times more likely to be struck by lightning. (Remarkably, only one out of every three who are struck even notice. Another third are actually pleased to have had their world-view validated.)

Bipolar Disorder sufferers are three times as likely to hit the lottery. This seems lucky; except that, those who do are thirteen times as likely to lose all their winnings on mad spending sprees, thus rendering them far more miserable than they were to begin with.

Narcissists are five times as likely to have a mirror shatter. Our researchers believe that this is because they are five times as likely to be in front of a mirror in the first place.

Those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are six times as likely to step on a crack, and 19 times as likely to do it over and over and over.

Addicts & Alcoholics are 19 times more likely to crawl under a ladder and have a large can of paint fall on their head. (Well over 50 percent of those who do decide to spend the night there.)

Excited by these breakthrough discoveries, Lord Frampton says he and his team will next be looking for connections between mental illness and the Law of Supply and Demand.

“Everything happens for a reason; often it’s a very bad reason.” Taz Mopula

The Great Epigram Quiz

epigram taz

The use and abuse of quotes, aphorisms, and bromides has grown to epidemic proportions; today the Internet is awash in frequently misattributed, pithy sentiments. Who really said the following?

1.“Why pay to exercise in a gym when you can enjoy an exercise in futility for free whenever you like?”
a.) Cicero
b.) Snooki
c.) Sisyphus
d.) Taz Mopula

2. “You have the right to remain silent, and listen. Might be advisable to exercise it before they take that one away, too.”
a.) Marcel Marceau
b.) Lao Tzu
c.) Boxcar Willie
d.) Taz Mopula

3. “Don’t honk if you love auditory hallucinations.”
a.) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
b.) Sylvia Plath
c.) His Holiness the Dalai Lama
d.) Taz Mopula

4. “Laughter is the best medicine; except when it comes to poisonous snakebites, then it’s the second-best medicine.”
a.) Albert Schweitzer
b.) Baron Rochefoucauld
c.) Kim Kardashian
d.) Taz Mopula

5. “The real tragedy of political correctness is that it has given lying a bad name.”
a.) Pliny The Elder
b.) Pliny The Younger
c.) Regular Pliny
d.) Taz Mopula

6. “Think twice before burning bridges; you never know when you might want to jump off one of them.”
a.) Zig Zigler
b.) Pema Chödrön
c.) Reverend Ike
d.) Taz Mopula

7. “Looking for self-worth in someone else’s eyes is like trying to breathe with someone else’s lungs.”
a.) Maya Angelou
b.) Charlie Sheen
c.) Gertrude Stein
d.) Taz Mopula

8. “It’s not that I don’t love you, I do love you; I just don’t love you enough to lie to you.”
a.) Dante
b.) Paris Hilton
c.) Shakespeare
d.) Taz Mopula

9. “Should you meet someone who claims that visualizing a thing makes it so; tell them to visualize being flattened by a bus.”
a.) Tom Waits
b.) James Dean
c.) Hunter Thompson
d.) Taz Mopula

10. “Life is good! Death is poopy!”
a.) Dr. Wayne Dyer
b.) Oprah Winfrey
c.) Tony Robbins
d.) Taz Mopula

11. “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time; but why would you even try when they’re so eager to do the job for you?”
a.) Abraham Lincoln
b.) Will Rogers
c.) Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
d.) Taz Mopula

12. “Why raise the bridge when you can lower your expectations of the river?”
a.) Albert Camus
b.) Søren Kierkegaard
c.) Jean Paul Sartre
d.) Taz Mopula

13. “Ultimately it’s not what you don’t say that matters most so much as how you don’t say it.”
a.) Harpo Marx
b.) Tomás de Torquemada
c.) Oscar Wilde
d.) Taz Mopula

14. “Be nice to your enemies; you just might be one of them.”
a.) Pogo
b.) Socrates
c.) Ozzy Osbourne
d.) Taz Mopula

15. “The best things in life aren’t free, the worst things in life aren’t free, and the cost of mediocrity is hidden.”
a.) John Lennon
b.) Jack Lemmon
c.) Blind Lemon Jefferson
d.) Taz Mopula

16. “Dying is easy, they say, but comedy is hard. So cheer up. Even if you fail at comedy you’re almost certain to die successfully.”
a.) Andrew “Dice” Clay
b.) Sam Kinison
c.) Carrot Top
d.) Taz Mopula

17. “American liberals, celebrated for their tolerance, stalwartly defend the right of wretched refuse to agree with them.”
a.) Noam Chomsky
b.) Pete Seeger
c.) Christopher Hitchens
d.) Taz Mopula

18. “Political Correctness: An experiment in social engineering which holds that renaming dung mousse au chocolat makes it edible.”
a.) Reverend Al Sharpton
b.) Julia Child
c.) Che Guevara
d.) Taz Mopula

19. “If technology makes our lives any more convenient, even breathing will become too much of an effort.”
a.) Steven Jobs
b.) Bill Gates
c.) Larry Page
d.) Taz Mopula

20. “Artificial intelligence will soon be the only kind remaining; thus conclusively proving the failure of human intelligence.”
a.) Isaac Asimov
b.) Ray Bradbury
c.) Michel de Nostredame
d.) Taz Mopula

The Great Art Quote Quiz

Thomas Kinkade meets Godzilla

Match The Pithy Quote With Who Really Said It

1. “Poetry is far too important to be left to the sane.”
a.) Rod McKuen
b.) Richard Bach
c.) Erich Segal
d.) Taz Mopula

2. “Mediocre art misrepresents reality; great art obliterates it.”
a.) Grandma Moses
b.) Norman Rockwell
c.) Andrew Wyeth
d.) Taz Mopula

3. “If you need mania to be creative, then maybe creativity isn’t for you.”
a.) Lord Byron
b.) Ernest Hemingway
c.) Terry Gilliam
d.) Taz Mopula

4. “Without life, poetry itself would be meaningless.”
a.) Nipsey Russell
b.) Mark Russell
c.) Tom Lehrer
d.) Taz Mopula

5. “No artist, however prodigious his talents, can create a great audience.”
a.) P.T. Barnum
b.) Cecil B. DeMille
c.) Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus
d.) Taz Mopula

6. “Great soldiers are brave; great poets are reckless.”
a.) General George S. Patton
b.) Audie Murphy
c.) Hannibal
d.) Taz Mopula

7. “Writing great poetry becomes much easier when you’re willing to die for it.”
a.) Dylan Thomas
b.) Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de Sade
c.) Wayland Flowers & Madame
d.) Taz Mopula

8. “The audience is never wrong; that said, one does occasionally wander into the wrong theater.”
a.) Abraham Lincoln
b.) Ronald Reagan
c.) Gerald Ford
d.) Taz Mopula

9. “Art is the shortest distance between two points, when one of the points has no known, or knowable, location.”
a.) Albert Einstein
b.) Stephen Hawking
c.) Carl Sagan
d.) Taz Mopula

10. “Even the greatest paintings are flat; they only become three-dimensional in the eyes of those who behold them.”
a.) Clarence Fountain
b.) Art Tatum
c.) Andrea Bocelli
d.) Taz Mopula

11. “Never confuse fame with artistic quality, or wealth with value. Society gets what it wants, not what it needs.”
a.) Liberace
b.) Aaron Spelling
c.) Steven Jobs
d.) Taz Mopula

12. “The only thing worse than obsessing over your press clippings is believing the ones you wrote yourself.”
a.) Madonna
b.) Quentin Tarantino
c.) Norman Mailer
d.) Taz Mopula

13. “Propaganda is to art as prostitution is to mambo lessons for the blind, in France.”
a.) Woody Guthrie
b.) Diego Rivera
c.) Jean Paul Sartre
d.) Taz Mopula

14. “I’m looking for someone to ghost-write my upcoming self-help book.”
a.) Deepak Chopra
b.) Wayne Dyer
c.) Pema Chödrön
d.) Taz Mopula

15. “A picture is worth a thousand lies.”
a.) Dorothea Lange
b.) Frank Capra
c.) Diane Arbus
d.) Taz Mopula

16. “Artists are typically motivated by twin passions; fear of anonymity and the desire to create feelings of inferiority in others.”
a.) Pablo Picasso
b.) Oscar Wilde
c.) Blind Lemon Jefferson
d.) Taz Mopula

17. “Art is what we have instead of answers.”
a.) Hieronymus Bosch
b.) Søren Kierkegaard
c.) Albert Ayler
d.) Taz Mopula

18. “That the camera cannot lie is axiomatic. But digital technology has enabled manufacturers to correct this deficiency.”
a.) Annie Leibovitz
b.) Henri Cartier-Bresson
c.) Mathew Brady
d.) Taz Mopula

19. “No one goes to school to become an artist; you go to school to avoid becoming an artist.”
a.) Moms Mabley
b.) Isadora Duncan
c.) Jean Cocteau
d.) Taz Mopula

20. “Writing poetry, playing the violin, and tossing dwarfs; when these pursuits are entrusted to amateurs, tragedy ensues.”
a.) Charles Bukowski
b.) Stéphane Grappelli
c.) Tom Thumb
d.) Taz Mopula

Contact me for answers.