The home page for author Eric J. Juneau

A Lack of Quotable Presidents

seal of the president of the united states

I likes me some quotes, as you can see by the header. I collect them, especially if they pertain to my interests. But I noticed something–there’s a lack of quotable presidents lately.

The last one I remember saying anything profound was JFK. There’s been some memorable lines, like Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and W. Bush’s “Can’t get fooled again”, but those are ignoble. There’s no “speak softly and carry a big stick” or “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

Why is that? What happened after JFK? Does it have something to do with his assassination? Is it something to do with the information age? Did all the good speechwriters die out? Or is it that television’s trivialized everything. I don’t see anything on inspirational journals, web sites, or plaques they sell at the grocery store.

After JFK was LBJ. I couldn’t give you a single word LBJ said, and Nixon had his “Checkers” speech which lived in ignominy. Ford, Carter, and Reagan give the impression of doddering old men on the cusp of dementia stumbling about the White House. Reagan had a few lines: “Tear down this wall”, “Win one for the gipper”, and so on. You’d think, given his acting background, Reagan would be a more memorable speaker. But both he and H.W. Bush (“Read my lips! No new taxes!”) gave more slogans than substance. Something for SNL to parody. This was the eighties after all.

Then with Clinton you get into quotes associated with scandals, which are certainly nothing you want to write on a fortune cookie. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” “That depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.” Ridiculous. Come on, give me something. Obama seemed to give more speeches than previous presidents, but they tended to be visually emotional and didn’t have any punch. They served the purpose of getting information across, not to wow you with a “Whoa, I never thought of it that way”, which is what the best quotes do.

Where is the “Ask not what you can do…” anymore. No “buck stops here” or “I like Ike”. “Hope” is not a quote, it’s a word. “Yes we can” is a slogan. You don’t even see presidents giving addresses on TV anymore. Come on, speechwriters. I think some quotable quotes could revive love for the executive branch.

My First 50 Favorite Tweets

twitter box

For those who don’t know, I’m also on Twitter (@theWallflower00). I don’t tweet very often, but I like reading them when I need to kill some time. And there’s a lot of wisdom and humor that gets thrown away into the oblivion of the Internet. I just favorited my fiftieth tweet, so I thought I’d kill some time and share the ones that tickled my fancy.

John Fugelsang
Archaeologists now believe the Mayans were only warning us about the MOVIE 2012.

Seth Meyers
“With the twittering and the tweetering and the the tootering…” #LikelyLineFromNextCosbyStandUpSpecial

Fake AP Stylebook
Avoid overuse of commas, as our insurance doesn’t cover that kind of long-term care.

Neil Gaiman
#18thcenturyinternet You err in Seeking this PAGE, for tis neither THERE nor HERE. & to your Futile Search I say only, Four Hundred & Four!

Charles
Behold! A rainbow! Nay, even unto two rainbows! Even unto the full extent of the sky! O Providence! #18thcenturyinternet

Seth Meyers
Favre will be announcing his decision in a month long special on ESPN called ESPN.

Lore Sjöberg
Maybe we’ll discover that all dinosaurs are actually Triceratops in various pupal, larval, and adult stages.

Scott Kurtz
Hey other male cartoonists: have you ever given yourself a boner drawing boobs? If your answer is no you’re lying #justhappenedtome

Seth Meyers
If Favre was cool he’d land in ‘Sota, grab two beers, take the slide down and yell “I’m back, motherf*ckers!”

Fake AP Stylebook
Strunk & White sure were a couple of dicks, weren’t they?

Jon Winokur
The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. MARK TWAIN

Adam Carolla
Rules for online dating photos- Women must stand on a scale holding that days news paper. Men must stand in front of a 7-11 door w/ paystub

Wil Wheaton
If I had a million GP, I’d buy you a Vorpal sword (but not a cursed Vorpal sword, ’cause that’s cruel.)

DRUNK HULK
THIS TUESDAY MOVE SLOWER THAN GOOGLE WAVE!

Conan O’Brien
Watching reruns of the Dukes of Hazard, drinking beer, and sitting with my wife, whose ankles are exposed. #suckitalqaeda

Joe Schmitt
Using a fax machine is easy. First get in your time machine and go back to 1983, then ask your secretary to do it for you.

Jon Winokur
Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops. KURT VONNEGUT

Felicia Day
Conversation on Eureka set: @neilgrayston: Wasps are dick insects. Me: yeah, if they were human they would wear Ed Hardy. @wilw: Tweet that.

John Scalzi
@wilw I’ve seen it about a hundred and sixty seven times, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT. (in reply to
Wil Wheaton: Spending a lazy Sunday morning watching Beetlejuice, one of my favorite movies of all time.)

Kevin Murphy
Don’t give up on your goals! Unless giving up IS your goal then give up with all your heart. #MySelfHelpBook

Wil Wheaton
Dear Yankees: Ha! Ha! HAHAHAHAHAHA! Ha. Ha. Hahaha. HAHAHAHA! Ha. Ha. Ha. Hahahahahaha. Ha. Ha! Hahaha! Ha … My best, Wil

Conan O’Brien
If NFL receiver Terrell Owens called timeout during overtime, it would be a TO TO in OT. Who says I don’t know football?

Adam Carolla
4 Halloween,daughter’s going as Katy Perry from her sexually inappropriate video & I’m going as a apathetic dad who can’t set boundaries

OMG Facts SEX
34% of first kisses happen at a party.

Fake NaNoWriMo Tips
Remember, it’s the Great AMERICAN Novel. Keep walking, Norwegians.

Scott Kurtz
Why does Glee work but Cop Rock didn’t?

The Dark Lord
The reason the world is so screwed up is that people can’t appreciate that the villian in your personal story is the hero in their own.

Teresa Strasser
Two choices for rom-com girls: free-spirited artist afraid to commit until tamed by love or uptight, cold, career lady too focused on work.

Jon Winokur
Ninety-nine percent of the world’s lovers are not with their first choice. That’s what makes the jukebox play. WILLIE NELSON

Stephen Colbert
If “Deep Blue Sea” taught us anything about hyper-intelligent army-trained sharks, it’s that only L.L. Cool J is safe.

Funny Or Die
Superdome + Thunderdome = Metrodome

Conan O’Brien
When they’re not fighting or racing light cycles, I’ll bet the citizens of TRON spend a lot of time on the phone with tech support.

Seth Meyers
Congrats to Favre on his first consecutive stop.

John Scalzi
RT @joeschmitt: There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and servings per container.

Lore Sjöberg
Currently shipping: WALL-E and Johnny 5.

Stephen Colbert
Safest job in showbiz? The Fox NFL Sunday Dancing Robot. That thing cannot be fired.

Funny Or Die
People will let you down. A sandwich won’t. And yet…people make sandwiches. Life’s big questions are tough.

Frank Conniff
Green Hornet bombing. But don’t today’s kids love 1930s radio shows? Does this mean Fibber McGee & Molly reboot is off?

Brandon Mendelson
I found Batman with Adam West is more enjoyable when you pretend it’s a documentary about a rich schizophrenic and his gay friend.

Frank Conniff
Turns out unwritten screenplays are ineligible for Oscars. If not for this technicality I totally would’ve been nominated!

John Scalzi
Showing Athena “Blade II.” Because the only time a vampire should sparkle is when it disintegrates.

Frank Conniff
Surgery on Charlie Sheen’s abdomen will be first time the phrase “side splitting” is associated with “Two & A Half Men.”

Frank Conniff
US Dietary Guidelines say cut salt. I say bullshit! I’d say more, but pain in my chest & left arm making it hard to type.

Emo Philips
Don’t wear fur! Did you know that a single fur coat takes 14 trees just for the protest signs?

Noah Antwiler
If only I could get @Scarlettopia to wear a Yuna costume for FFX-2.

Jon Winokur
News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity. BILL MOYERS #quote #quotes #quotation

Jon Winokur
We learn from history that we do not learn from history. GEORGE FRIEDRICH WILHELM HEGEL

Sandeep Parikh
I sneezed on my kindle and therefore every page of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.

Homer J. Simpson
I hope Toy Story 3 wins Best Picture. And, for shutting my kids up for 90 minutes, it should get the Nobel Prize. #Oscars

Stephen Colbert
My new iPad is going to completely revolutionize the way I constantly mention my new iPad!

Hey, Look at My New Widget… I said LOOK AT IT!

Why, look what’s above this post! (assuming you’re reading this from the web site)  It’s a new, nifty random quote generator.  It refreshes with a new quote each time you refresh the site.

Over the years… lots of years… I’ve collected quotes that are true or wise, at least to me.  There are 254 quotes in the widget above.  Some of them are even by me.

I used to put them at the end of diary entries, rather than a signature.  But since I no longer keep a diary (writing stories and this blog fulfill that need), I’ve kinda stopped collecting quotes.  But they just sit there stagnant.  And wisdom should be spread.  So I created the neat little randomizer at the top for your enjoyment.  Hopefully, it’ll work without bugs.  Some of those quotes are long.

And no, it’s a not a feeble attempt to get page views or ad revenue.  I have no ads, and I can distinguish unique visitors.

Thingy

I’m still suffering from vacation lag (Seattle).  So please enjoy this ridiculous quote from H.P. Lovecraft.

“My reason for writing stories is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly and detailedly and stably the vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy which are conveyed to me by certain sights (scenic, architectural, atmospheric, etc.), ideas, occurrences, and images encountered in art and literature.”

-H.P. Lovecraft