I Quote

Here are some quotes I've come across which I would like to share.

13th September 2006 · Last updated: 5th October 2016

Édith Piaf

At the start of Grace Jones' Slave To The Rhythm, there's a spoken intro that I have always remembered. It goes something like this:

"This is what Édith Piaf used to say: 'Use your faults, use your defects; then you're going to be a star'."

This has always fascinated me. How can you use something about yourself that is a fault, something bad? And yet some stars have definitely done this. Think of someone famous because of an abnormality they suffer from. It's what makes them so interesting. Or think of someone who has found fame after an accident, and how they fought to get over it, becoming a much better person for it.

Personally I'm still wondering how to apply Piaf's idea to my life without being seen as weak or inferior by exposing my faults. But then perhaps that's what defines a star, someone who is able to turn their faults and defects into advantages, not disadvantages. There's a natural art to it, which I'm sure isn't supposed to be hard, it just occurs naturally.

The star rises not just because of their talent, but also because of their faults. Without the faults, they wouldn't be as interesting. Think how fascinating someone like Elizabeth Taylor is, because of her many failed marriages. Or Michael Jackson, because of the constant press allegations he has to deal with. Or Pete Doherty, with his struggles to beat drugs, and repeated court cases. None of these people would be as interesting if they held down 9-to-5 jobs and never did anything that caused controversy. But whether they were doomed to do so down to their personal faults, or things just turned out the way they did for them, I'll leave to the reader to say.

Guns N' Roses

Guns N' Roses took a similar approach to Édith Piaf by naming one album Use Your Illusion (I). The idea they proposed in the title seemed to me to be this: Use the illusion that you are a star, then you'll fulfil your own destiny. If you think you are no good at playing guitar, how can you become a famous guitarist? But if you think you are pretty damn good, and can play well enough to convince enough people, then maybe you stand more of a chance. Of course this is egotistic, but how many rock stars aren't? It's part of their drive for success, just like sports players. To be the best, you need to think like you already are - even if it's an illusion.

The other side to this must be that even if you are bad at what you do, you'll still feel strong doing it, so you will feel good about yourself. After all, who cares what other people think about your skills? Can they really do so much better?

Natasha On My Work

"You are a very creative and very talented person, and i enjoy looking at your idea books."
(From Natasha of Natasha Is Neat, 3rd July 2006)

Bob Geldof

"Bottled water is bollocks. It is the great irony of the 21st century that the most basic things in the supermarket, such as water and bread, are amongst the most expensive. Getting water from the other side of the world and transporting it to sell here is ridiculous. It is all to do with lifestyle."
(From The Independent On Sunday, 12th February 2006)

Molly E. Holzschlag

Any rock band can play loud, only the good ones can play quiet.
(From Molly's web thoughts list of articles (in the description for Clean Up, Flatten Out))

Mark Pilgrim

"Google Labs recently announced a new search prototype that ranks websites by how accessible they are to blind and mobility-impaired visitors. I've been saying for years that Googlebot is just another blind user with 100 million friends. The only thing that's really changed is the number of friends."
(From The world is not limited to your imagination, 27th July 2006)

The War On Terror

"At least 100 people die in Iraq every day, according to UN figures."
(From METRO free newspaper, 7th August 2006.)

"A study has revealed at least 62,006 more people have died since the War on Terror began. It has created 4.5 million refugees and cost the US more than the sum needed to pay off the debts of every poor nation on Earth."
(From METRO free newspaper, 11th September 2006.)