Quotation about watching the swirling mass of humanity
September 1, 2004 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Quote help. I'm looking for a quote where a guy talks about being on top of a hill of sorts, watching the swirling mass of humanity below. He says it in kind of a boastful way, how he almost observes with amusement.

My Google-fu isn't working. I've tried dozens of combos of keywords with no luck. (Trouble is, I don't know if I've remembered the keywords properly.)
posted by uncanny hengeman to Writing & Language (15 answers total)
 
Um -- King Lear? Edgar to Gloucester on Dover cliff?
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:49 PM on September 1, 2004


Is it a quote from a movie? A book? Fiction? Non-fiction?
posted by bcwinters at 6:49 PM on September 1, 2004


I thought it was a Beatles song...
posted by LairBob at 7:00 PM on September 1, 2004


Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid, with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?
posted by alan at 7:05 PM on September 1, 2004 [1 favorite]


It's the sort of quote you'd see at the bottom of a page-per-day diary or The Oxford Book of Quotes.

So probably from a book or a speech.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:23 PM on September 1, 2004



Thanks Sonny Jim and LiarBob but that's not it. I’ll have a really really bad stab at it, from how I remember the quote.

"I like to sit atop the hill above the swirling sea of humanity below, and watch with amusement all their petty problems and fights."

(Hopefully that helps and not hinders - I could be way off.)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:36 PM on September 1, 2004


wtf? I posted an answer and now it's gone.

I was wondering if perhaps it could have been a movie and it could have been a ferris wheel, and not a hill. From The Third Man (lookind down at the people on the ground):

"Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays."
posted by dobbs at 8:38 PM on September 1, 2004


You might find your answer in this thread.
posted by rafter at 8:48 PM on September 1, 2004


The first thing I thought of was this.
posted by oflinkey at 8:50 PM on September 1, 2004


The amusement part doesnt fit well, but still from a more classic side, the Bhagavad Gita is all about a dialogue between Krishna and Priince Arjuna up on a hilltop as Arjuna's armies are scattered below.
posted by vacapinta at 8:51 PM on September 1, 2004


Thanks dobbs, but that's not it.

It does, however, remind me of an episode of The (newer) Twilight Zone.

Where a lady gets visited by men-in-black who offer her a million dollars if she choses to kill someone she "doesn't even know."

After much gnashing of teeth she decides to do so. Then the men-in-black come back and mention it is an ongoing "test", and that the next person they visit will be someone she "doesn't even know."

Cue "oh shit" expression and spooky music.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:09 PM on September 1, 2004


The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown.

The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"...

...and I'll look down and whisper "no."
-Rorshach's Journal. October 12th, 1985
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:06 PM on September 1, 2004


Guy Smiley, that's what I was thinking too.
posted by keswick at 12:13 AM on September 2, 2004


Bah! It wasn't what I was thinking.

But thanks to everyone for all their help so far.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:55 AM on September 2, 2004


This is probably way off base, but how about that final scene in Withnail and I, where Richard E. Grant delivers Hamlet's 'What a piece of work is man' soliloquy to the wolves at the London zoo?
posted by hot soup girl at 7:57 AM on September 2, 2004


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