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Looking for quotes about the status quo
May 18, 2005 3:38 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for quotes, proverbs or passages roughly synonymous with the saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same". English or non-English. Religious or secular. Your own or someone else's.
posted by Ritchie to Writing & Language (26 answers total)
This is near-ish

It Struck me sad and strange
All that every stays the same is change..

The Waterboys - A Life Of Sundays

Can find a lyrics link that doesnt have popups!!
From the album Room To Roam
posted by kenaman at 3:53 AM on May 18, 2005

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même
, of course.
Alphonse Karr

(Somebody had to say it)
posted by IndigoJones at 4:24 AM on May 18, 2005

In French: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (attributed to Alphonse Karr). In fact this may be the original quote.
posted by elgilito at 4:26 AM on May 18, 2005

Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.

Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost
posted by Dagobert at 4:32 AM on May 18, 2005

"When rain falls on the leopard it wets him but does not wash out his spots." (Ashanti proverb, West Africa)
posted by Chanther at 4:35 AM on May 18, 2005

"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai.
posted by Zonker at 4:46 AM on May 18, 2005

It's hard to judge someone until you've walked in their shoes, but it seems like your request for "quotes, proverbs or passages" of a cliche are going to be cliche. In other words, you can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear. I.e., you reap what you sow. Unless you are writing a country song, in which case, the more cliches the better; after all, you have to break a few eggs to make an omlette.
posted by about_time at 5:01 AM on May 18, 2005

What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. --Ecclesiastes 1:9
posted by paschke at 5:33 AM on May 18, 2005

I was forced to memorize the first chapter of the houjouki in college:

"yuku kawa no nagare wa taezu shite shikamo moto no mizu ni arazu"

"The rive flows never ceasing, but it is not the same water."

But that probably means the opposite of what you are looking for.
posted by Alison at 5:43 AM on May 18, 2005

I like to sigh, and say "Out with the old, and in with the older" when crap never seems to change. Not sure if that's what you're looking for though.
posted by Kololo at 5:50 AM on May 18, 2005

The king is dead, long live the king.
posted by biffa at 5:57 AM on May 18, 2005

same shit, different day.
posted by abingham at 6:09 AM on May 18, 2005

A long page of quotes on history.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:10 AM on May 18, 2005

"Things are more like they are now than they ever were before."
-- Eisenhower.
posted by mmcg at 6:14 AM on May 18, 2005

Pardon the language, but:
Same shit, different day.

On a different note:
People talk a lot about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it.
posted by juggler at 6:25 AM on May 18, 2005

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss...
posted by handee at 6:49 AM on May 18, 2005

"same as it ever was"

(Now that's firmly lodged in my head....)
posted by Space Kitty at 7:30 AM on May 18, 2005

"It is not true that life is one damn thing after's the same damn thing over and over again." —Edna St. Vincent Millay
posted by bricoleur at 7:38 AM on May 18, 2005

Zen saying:
Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water
After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water
posted by Gucky at 7:49 AM on May 18, 2005

Found some possibilities on Bartleby.

Robert Frost:
Most of the change we think we see in life
Is due to truths being in and out of favor.
Octavio Paz:
Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two.
Andy Warhol:
Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?
Henry David Thoreau:
The higher the mountain on which you stand, the less change in the prospect from year to year, from age to age. Above a certain height there is no change.
Rutherford B. Hayes:
In the great and deep qualities of mind, heart, and soul, there is no change. Homer and Solomon speak to the same nature in man that is reached by Shakespeare and Lincoln. but in the accidents, the surroundings, the change is vast. All things now are mobile—movable.
posted by jbrjake at 9:15 AM on May 18, 2005

The more things change, the more they stay the same
The more things stay the same, the more I go insane

-moe., The Ghost of Ralph's Mom
posted by euphorb at 9:33 AM on May 18, 2005

I've been known to use "It's the difference between night... and later that night" once in a while. Don't remember the source, though.
posted by .kobayashi. at 10:14 AM on May 18, 2005

There was a poem recited at the end of Tran Ahn Hung's Scent of Green Papaya on this theme; I have been trying to dig it up. Tran mentioned the title and author of this poem in an interview with Cineaste in...1994? but I can't seem to access the journal right now.
posted by muddgirl at 10:30 AM on May 18, 2005

Ok, not a poem, but a section from the book Oreiller d'Herbe (Grass Pillow) by the Japanese prose author Soseki.
posted by muddgirl at 12:38 PM on May 18, 2005

Seems that I was busy doing something close 2 nothing
But different than the day before

(Possibly a bit of a stretch, granted, but I've always liked that line. And if you think about it....)
posted by IndigoJones at 3:32 PM on May 18, 2005

Same shovel, different shit.
- My mum

Whoa, it's deja vu all over again.
- Unknown
posted by deborah at 7:49 PM on May 18, 2005

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