Before my trusty thumb drive, I used to email myself assignments and essays from school so I could work on them at home. I have some friends who, when they e-mail themselves, they attach a little note so they feel like they are getting email from their past selves. I used to do this, but honestly, I got tired of cyber-talking to myself. I do that enough in real life. I couldn’t bear to send a sad little blank email though. Instead, I started making up quotes and giving them fake authors. They were always delightfully ambiguous. The type of quotes that would be plastered on the wall in a high school English room. The type that people would read, shake their heads thoughtfully, comment on its profoundness, then walk away without any lasting impact made because they mean absolutely nothing.
“The road to success isn’t complete without a few flares along the way” Charles Willson
“The feeling of pain never comes into the station alone–this is what makes it so unbearable. Its friends are some of my worst enemies” George Oversteen
I wondered what it would take to have a quote credited to you. To say something so worthwhile that it ends up plastered all over google when people search for quotes for their essays and speeches. Then I realized, no one will ever quote you unless you have some sort of credentials. For a quote to be truly powerful, then your name has to be powerful first.
This striked me as rather sad. It doesn’t matter so much how beautiful or meaningful the quote is. If the wrong person says the right thing, it means nothing. If the right person says anything, it means everything. Judging the quality of what someone has to say based on who they are instead of what they have to say seems unfair at best. I like to write meaningless quotes with meaningless people attached. Yet if I actually had something of value to say, it wouldn’t matter. My fake quotes would probably be taken more seriously, as long as I used a fake name that looked legitimate.