Politics and Culture in the Comic Zone

Daniel Rigney

Daniel Rigney
New Texas, USA
August 01
free-range writer
In this writing workshop and citizen's blog I'm exploring various short forms, often from a satiric angle. My interests include politics, culture and the human comedy; old and new media; social theory and urban life; the commercialization, corporatization and tabloidization of everything; sustainability; Unitarianism (UU); coffee; and writing (sorry, I mean providing content). Turtle stamp is from Tandy Leather. Interested in republishing a piece? Contact drigney3@gmail.com.


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NOVEMBER 8, 2012 3:52PM

Famous First Words

Rate: 3 Flag

By Daniel Rigney

In a weekend writing workshop offered recently at Nearby University, the leader asked participants to share opening sentences from their favorite novels. Famous first lines you may recognize include:

“Call me Ishmael.” (Herman Melville, Moby Dick)

“Happy families are all alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina)

“It was a dark and stormy night.” (Snoopy, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night)

Your favorite here: ___________________________________.


My wife's personal favorite:

"The past is a foreign country: They do things differently there.” (H. P. Hartley, The Go-Between)

Hartley’s observation should not be mistaken for Timo Hammay's “The future is a different country,” nor with William Gibson’s maxim that “the future is already here -- it’s just unevenly distributed,” and that “Earth is the alien planet.”)


In the wake of our recent national elections, I can imagine a few first lines I’d like to read, from books that don’t exist, by authors who have yet to put pixel to pad:

“The bridge to the nineteenth century has collapsed, and there is no infrastructure budget to repair it. Nor should there be.” (Ayn Ryan, The Tea Party Express)

“Come to Colorado and see our mountains as you’ve never seen them before.  Oh.  Wow.” (MJ Enterprises, Recreational Tourism in the Western States)

Finally, I’ll donate a million dollars in play money to Donald Trump’s favorite charity (himself) if he’ll write an autobiography that begins:  “Is it just me, or does everyone have a favorite throne?” (Donald Trump, Trump’s Dumps: A Memoir)

 For more famous first words, see this and that.




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"Two lamps? That's it? We're tryin' to start a country here on a dark and stormy night and all you give me to work with is two lamps ?!?!"
Paul Revere segue to Snoopy
R&R, I got no more... ;-)
Thanks, jmac. After a tense election season, I'm lightening up a little.
What a Visual - Trump on a Porcelain Throne! Can he dig a hole any bigger for himself? R
Thanks, Marilyn. I see that Trump has already taken down his tweets from earlier this week urging revolution. I wish Stewart and Colbert would organize another "Restore Sanity" rally soon.
It is striking that Trump seems to be the most insecure man on the planet. R
Here's a review of The Donald -- Trump's future ghost-written bio:

"A hair-raising tale told by an idiot -- full of sound and fury (not to mention braggadacio) -- signifying nothing."
Thoth, isn't it paradoxical that Trump's greatest fear is that "the world is laughing at us," and yet he continues to make remarks that invite derisive laughter?

Tom, great line. I believe I recall that in college Trump was a member of Sigma Phi Naught. His hair was the chapter mascot. Fact check me on that.