Quote of the Day

Culture is the ability to describe Jane Russell without moving your hands

–Bob Hope

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

14 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. …and the ability to hear the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger…

      1. Our church takes an annual float trip on the Buffalo River. Two of the organizers are a lesbian couple who got married (not legally, but they’re married) on one of these trips, years back. One of them usually wears her “Official Bikini Inspector” shirt on the river. I find that awesome in so many ways.

  2. This sort of sentence is a signpost for hard it will be to get a computer to understand language.

  3. I remember that statement with Gina Lollabrigida rather than Jane Russell – a generation later, I guess (but Barry’s addition was still current.) (BTW did they use the Wm Tell Overture in the new Lone Ranger movie?)

    1. At a place I was working decades ago, there was an engineer named William Tell. He lived on Archer Drive. Someone, one day, said to me, “He’s not very friendly is he?” I said, “He certainly hasn’t made any overtures to me.”

    2. “BTW did they use the Wm Tell Overture in the new Lone Ranger movie?”

      Yes – they did hold it back until the final actions scenes.

  4. Except possibly for the second generation comment about hearing it with Gina insted of Jane, I don’t think anybody gets what he means.

    No, she did not twerk. All she had to do was breathe to hold anyone with even a spark of romance spellbound. A smile and you were hers.

    There have been few like her (if any), with her at once out there yet subtle wit and sex appeal. The subtlety is the big differentiator. And Gina was not sublte. Nor Mae, nor Maryilyn, Rachel, Sophia, Ursula, Bo, nor …*. Though all were very intelligent, exquisitly beautiful.

    The “without moving your hands” bit is a flashback to the old sexist days, and to say that today would be pretty much a no-no. Knowing Bob, and the comedic burlesque tropes of the day, he refers to miming what your hands would be doing if she were in your arms. Suggesting that with language alone without being coarse about it would be his signature of culture.

    * this list must really date me. Who are the cotenders today?

    1. I would have thought he would have been miming her hourglass shape. I’ve seen that; I’m not sure I’ve seen what you describe. Can you point me to one? Or are we saying the same thing?

Comments are closed.