August 19, 2010

The Aphorisms of Charlie Chan Almost 500 from 40-some movies in their original stereotypically semi-broken English. Some are restatements or rephrasings of older sayings ("A fool and his money never become old acquaintances"), some are totally plot-related ("Good policy to have murderer consider detective dope") and some are rather offensive - and not just racially ("A woman not made for heavy thinking, but should always decorate scene like blossom of plum") but some are gems of not-expressed-enough wisdom (my faves follow)

Advice after mistake is like medicine after dead man's funeral. Always someone about to stick fly in ointment. A soft word does not scratch the tongue. Big head is only a good place for very large headache. Caution sometimes mother of suspicion. Confucius has said, "A wise man question himself, a fool others." (or maybe he didn't since I couldn't google it; still a good message inbad English) Dividing line between folly and wisdom very faint in dark tomb. Door of opportunity swing both ways. Even wisest man cannot answer until he knows question. Eye easily deceived. Same leopard can hide beneath different spots. Facts like photographic film - must be exposed before developing. (kind of 'detective-specific' but kind of not) Favorite pastime of man is fooling himself. Front seldom tell truth. To know occupants of house, always look in back yard. Grain of sand in eye may hide mountain. Insignificant molehill sometime more important than conspicuous mountain. It is difficult to pick up needle with boxing glove. Man who ride tiger cannot dismount. Mind, like parachute, only function when open. Motive, like end of string, tied in many knots; end may be in sight, but hard to unravel. Much fuel tempts men to build fire. Nut easy to crack often empty. Spider does not spin web for single fly. Time covers and discovers everything. To know forgery, one must have original. To speak without thinking is to shoot without aiming. Very wise know way out before going in. When prepared for worst, can hope for best. (A more optimistic restatement of Mel Brooks' "Twelve Chairs" credo: 'Hope for the best, expect the worst')

  • I always felt like he was an unseen force on Hawaii Five-0, as well…
  • *bows* Thoughts are like noble animal - unchecked, they run away causing painful smash-up. Ah, yes. *bows* The real Charlie