The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Apr 16, 2008


When Raja got tired of Chellam's pomposity and habit of interfering in every sphere of scientific life at IISc, he sighed and said, "Chellam is a multifaceted fraud."

As put-downs go, I think this is remarkably inventive and deeply philosophical. Certainly, there have been other witty insults, but this was the only one uttered by a fellow I knew, so I list it first.

Boy George said that Prince looked like a midget dipped in oil and rolled in pubic hair.

Ernest Hemingway didn't like Wyndham Lewis, thought he was an ass. His eyes, said Hemingway, were "those of an unsuccessful rapist."

What brilliant imagery!

This next one must be very well known. John Gielgud said, "Ingrid Bergman is fluent in five languages. And she can't act in any of them."

In Walter Mosley's sexcapade Killing Johnny Fry, the gormless hero L is told by his first wife that she'd rather sleep next to broken glass than him. When he asked what he had done, she replied, "You do nothing. You don't even fart."

In December 2003, seven hundred people rallied in Tikrit to protest the arrest of Saddam Hussein, chanting, "Saddam is in our hearts, Saddam is in our blood!" The response came from the soldiers and the police that they were facing down, "Saddam is in our jail, Saddam is in our jail!"

And, finally, Mozart is said to have made the following observation (to whom, though?): "I liked your opera. Perhaps I will set it to music."


Anonymous said...


And the classic of our time: "A modest man, who has much to be modest about," which is Winston Churchill talking about Clement Atlee.

Post a Comment