when you say jump, i say stfu?
July 22, 2008 7:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for sayings/proverbs/idioms etc. that convey or state, of one refusing to be told what to do (or think, or say). "When I say jump, you'll ask: 'how high?'" -- the *opposite* of something like this.

Quite simply, I'm looking for short sayings dealing with refusing to respond to the beck and call of a higher authority (whether it be socially, political, religious, or another dimension.) Any ideas?
posted by raztaj to Grab Bag (35 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Marching to the beat of one's own drummer?

Whoso would be a man, must be a noncomformist. (Emerson)

There's a Shakespeare quote that fits, but it's slipping my mind at the moment...
posted by amro at 7:37 AM on July 22, 2008

And this above all to thine own self be true.

(I knew it would come to me.)
posted by amro at 7:38 AM on July 22, 2008

I will not kiss your fucking flag
posted by drezdn at 7:45 AM on July 22, 2008

"Get your own damned coffee."

It's not a proverb, and it's not Shakespeare, but I know I've heard it more than a few times.
posted by bryanjbusch at 7:48 AM on July 22, 2008

Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining
posted by JulianDay at 7:50 AM on July 22, 2008

if everyone else jumped off the brooklyn bridge, would you?
posted by buka at 7:57 AM on July 22, 2008

I'm not your fucking Eliza Doolittle.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:58 AM on July 22, 2008

Go fly a kite.
posted by bricoleur at 8:05 AM on July 22, 2008

Sticking it to the man

Letting your freak flag fly
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:08 AM on July 22, 2008

"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves."
Henry David Thoreau
posted by Happy Dave at 8:10 AM on July 22, 2008

Oh and,

"I have always looked on disobedience toward the oppressive as the only way to use the miracle of having been born."
Oriana Fallaci
posted by Happy Dave at 8:11 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, and this one too:

Edward R. Murrow:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it."
posted by Happy Dave at 8:14 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

"But if not." - attributed to the 350,000 English soldiers trapped by German forces at Dunkirk in WW2. I blogged about it once.
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:19 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

The man who follows the crowd will usually go no farther than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.
--Albert Einstein

I'll not listen to reason. . . Reason always means what someone else has got to say.
--Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best day and night into making you like everybody else is to fight the hardest battle there is and never stop fighting.
--poet E. E. Cummings

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.
-- Katherine Hepburn, actress
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:32 AM on July 22, 2008

'When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.' ...Aw, hell, just refer to despair.com.
posted by spamguy at 8:45 AM on July 22, 2008

Don't tread on me
posted by PFL at 8:54 AM on July 22, 2008

I ain't lickin' nutin!
And if the situation warrants it, the next line is - Lick your own damn balls!
Chris Rock said it. Admittedly we use it slightly out of context but it does amuse us terribly. Not really something I'd say to anyone with any real kind of authority though... :)
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 8:54 AM on July 22, 2008

Ani Difranco sprang to mind, so I googled "Ani Difranco quotes":

"I'd rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous."

"If you like it, let it be, and if you don't please do the same. "

"It seems that different people have an idea of what I am, and what I should be. And then there's me."

"My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it's very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do. "
posted by backwards guitar at 8:56 AM on July 22, 2008

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"--Ralph Waldo Emerson.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:02 AM on July 22, 2008

When you say jump, I'll say I hope your head falls off and you die.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:12 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

A bit of work never hurt anybody... but why take the chance?
posted by Zeker at 9:16 AM on July 22, 2008

"It's easier to apologize than get permission" — probably goes back a long way, but I prefer to attribute it to Grace Hopper.

"Take this job and shove it" — Johnny Paycheck.

Mark Twain probably had some choice lines, but none come to mind.
posted by adamrice at 9:22 AM on July 22, 2008

You say jump, I say "How? Why?"
posted by Floydd at 9:56 AM on July 22, 2008

"E pur si muove!"
posted by neroli at 10:23 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

adamrice, how about "Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform". - Mark Twain
posted by LN at 11:07 AM on July 22, 2008

Here's another, a longer passage:
"...all men--kings & serfs alike--are slaves to other men & to circumstance--save alone, the pilot--who comes at no man's back and call, obeys no man's orders & scorns all men's suggestions. The king would do this thing, & would do that: but a cramped treasury overmasters him in the one case & a seditious people in the other. The Senator must hob-nob with canaille whom he despises, & banker, priest & statesman trim their actions by the breeze of the world's will & the world's opinion. It is a strange study,--a singular phenomenon, if you please, that the only real, independent & genuine gentlemen in the world go quietly up and down the Mississippi river, asking no homage of any one, seeking no popularity, no notoriety, & not caring a damn whether school keeps or not".
- Mark Twain, in a letter to Will Bowen, 8/25/1866
posted by LN at 11:10 AM on July 22, 2008

STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.

Jon Stewart on Crossfire
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:18 AM on July 22, 2008

"I would prefer not to." Bartleby, the Scrivener.
posted by bz at 11:24 AM on July 22, 2008

From the Drew Carey Show:

Mimi: Yes, sir. You say, "Jump," I say, "How high...would I have to be to take orders from you?"
posted by bink at 11:32 AM on July 22, 2008

An old one-- "kicking against the goads." It's biblical, although the expression is recorded in Greek literature before the Bible.
posted by leapfrog at 11:33 AM on July 22, 2008

Well, it's not a saying/proverb/idiom, but what about Die Gedanken Sind Frei?
posted by HotToddy at 3:09 PM on July 22, 2008

"I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage, MythBusters
posted by natalie b at 4:49 PM on July 22, 2008

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