original quote
May 6, 2010 7:51 AM   Subscribe

QuoteFilter: Who is the original source of the quote "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention"?
posted by esnyder to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I remember the late great Paul Wellstone saying it a lot. Was he quoting someone else?
posted by Think_Long at 7:59 AM on May 6, 2010

I'm pretty sure that started life as a bumper sticker. At least, it's been around in that form since, I think, the 70s.
posted by bricoleur at 8:26 AM on May 6, 2010

I've read it as "if you aren't appalled, you haven't been paying attention." Maybe searching for that will help.
posted by ishotjr at 3:31 PM on May 6, 2010

Earliest I've found so far is Mother Jones: "If you're queer and you're not angry in 1992, you're not paying attention."

Interestingly, the very first similar phrasing I can find in GNA is the sharp but unfamous columnist-editor Donald Kaul, who wrote in 1989 "If you're not cynical, you're probably not paying attention." Still, even his usage has a riff of a pop culture reference. The earliest mention of the bumper sticker I can find (and there are many) is around 1992.
posted by dhartung at 11:01 PM on May 6, 2010

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