[Ads-l] Pogo on intelligent life in the universe

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Feb 19 00:13:29 EST 2017


I've just updated the Wikiquote article
<https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Walt_Kelly#Porky_Pine> with the correct text
and a reference to the 1959 original, with credit and link to Garson's post
here.

Mark Mandel


. <http://X-Clacks-Overhead.dw/GNU-Terry_Pratchett>  .
<http://www.gnuterrypratchett.com/>


On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 6:10 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thanks for your insights, John.  Also, thanks to GAT and Robin
> Hamilton for Pogo information off list.
>
> The Pogo comic strip about extraterrestrial life was remembered in an
> article published in "The New York Review of Books" dated April 29,
> 2004 titled "Stumbling into Space" by Timothy Ferris. The correct text
> of the strip was given in a footnote. Interestingly, the publication
> date specified for the strip was rather late: July 28, 1973. In fact,
> the strip from 1959 was reprinted on that 1973 date. Full copies of
> the strip on both dates are viewable via newspapers.com for
> subscribers. For example: Type "July 28, 1973 Pogo" in the search slot
> and select an appropriate match.
>
> http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2004/04/29/stumbling-into-space/
>
> [Begin footnote 6]
> Porkypine: "I been readin' 'bout how maybe they is planets peopled by
> folks with advanced brains. On the other hand, maybe we got the most
> brains… maybe our intellects is the universe’s most advanced. Either
> way, it’s a mighty soberin' thought." Pogo, July 28, 1973.
> [End excerpt]
>
> The Way Back Machine has a snapshot from a website called
> halexandria.org  on June 4, 2003 that shows the modern version of the
> quotation was in circulation at that time. A Usenet post from 2004
> referred to this website.
>
> https://web.archive.org/web/20030604045335/http://www.
> halexandria.org/dward370.htm
>
> [Begin excerpt]
> An additional famous quote from Kelly was Porky Porcupine -- in
> commenting on the possibilities/probabilities of extraterrestrials --
> said, “Thar’s only two possibilities:  Thar is life out there in the
> universe which is smarter than we are, or we’re the most intelligent
> life in the universe.  Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought.”
> [End excerpt]
>
> Garson
>
> On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 5:00 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at stradley.com> wrote:
> > I think it's unlikely that this is a line that was used more than once.
> While Walt Kelly frequently re-used individual lines, this one would
> require an entire set-up.  He did re-use the strips that ran in the Star,
> but this was probably too late to be among the re-used strips.  I don't
> recall seeing this line in the Pogo Comics that preceded the strip, and it
> does seem more characteristic of a daily strip than some panels from a
> comic book.
> >
> > The Wikiquote version cannot be correct.  This is not language that
> Porkypine would have used; it is too formal and correct, and the only
> variant spelling is "thar," which is not good Okefenokee ("they" would be
> more likely in the strip, as in the bona fide quotation given below).
> Presumably it is based on someone's faulty memory.  I see that it was added
> to Wikiquote by an anonymous editor in May 2004 as one of several
> "attributed quotes," and the editor wrongly called the speaker "Porky
> Porcupine," see https://en.wikiquote.org/w/index.php?title=Walt_Kelly&
> diff=prev&oldid=9640.
> >
> >
> > John Baker
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of ADSGarson O'Toole
> > Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2017 2:32 AM
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Subject: Pogo on intelligent life in the universe
> >
> > The Wikiquote webpage for Walt Kelly lists the following Pogo quotation.
> >
> > [Begin Wikiquote version]
> > Thar’s only two possibilities: Thar is life out there in the universe
> > which is smarter than we are, or we’re the most intelligent life in
> > the universe. Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought.
> > [End Wikiquote version]
> >
> > The passage above was highlighted with a companion photo. It was also
> > selected as Quote of the Day in 2004. Unfortunately, Wikiquote does
> > not provide a citation. So, I decided to attempt to locate the precise
> > comic strip.
> >
> > The quality of the text created by OCR (optical character recognition)
> > for Pogo is terrible which greatly impairs searchability. But fortune
> > smiled and I eventually found a candidate. The text was markedly
> > different, but the overall semantics and the punchline matched the
> > target quotation.
> >
> > [ref] 1959 June 20, The Honolulu Advertiser, Pogo Comic Strip by Walt
> > Kelly, Quote Page B3, Honolulu, Hawaii. (Newspapers_com)[/ref]
> >
> > https://www.newspapers.com/image/259239643/?terms=Pogo
> >
> > [Begin Comic Strip Text]
> > Porky Pine: I BEEN READIN' 'BOUT HOW MAYBE THEY IS PLANETS PEOPLED BY
> > FOLKS WITH AD-VANCED BRAINS.
> >
> > Pogo: UM
> >
> > Porky Pine: ON THE OTHER HAND, MAYBE WE GOT THE MOST BRAINS...MAYBE
> > OUR INTELLECTS IS THE UNIVERSE'S MOST AD-VANCED.
> >
> > Porky Pine: EITHER WAY, IT'S A MIGHTY SOBERIN' THOUGHT.
> > [End Comic Strip Text]
> >
> > Question for list members: Does a Pogo comic strip exist that more
> > closely matches the text specified by Wikiquote? Did Walt Kelly cover
> > this topic more than once?  Alternatively, is the Wikiquote version
> > based on a faulty memory?
> >
> > Garson O'Toole
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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