Sci-Fi Mantras for Today’s World

Over the course of a successful science fiction franchise’s life-span, key phrases and quotes from the series transcend the boundaries of mere entertainment, taking on the weight of a philosophy or religion. These words can offer some insight into the mindsets of the society that embraces the franchise. BfD takes a look at the implications of the Top 5 sci fi quotes that have spawned a following across the globe.

5) Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me, You Damn Dirty Ape!

This memorable line from Planet of the Apes was the precursor to the feminist movement’s slogan, “Keep your hands off my body,” but the damn dirty ape line was seen as too confrontational and was dropped by all but the most militant of factions.

I’m sure Mr. Heston is rolling in his grave knowing words he spoke to a monkey helped spawn a movement in support of pro-choice.

4) There is No Spoon

This line from the Matrix quickly eclipsed the “We believe in nothing” from the Big Lebowski in nihilistic circles, mainly because the character that said it didn’t get his ear bitten off by a rabid John Goodman. It was also briefly considered as a slogan for the Swiss Army Knife, but was ultimately given a no-go because the company decided it focused on the negative too much.

3) The Truth is Out There

Science and science fiction have a long and twisted history of mingling, kind of like a pretzel, with some salt and mustard. New Age Empiricists have latched onto the X-files slogan, and use it to suggest that the notion of truth exists out there in the universe, ready to be plucked from the vine and bit into. Man, it must be lunch time. Anyways, libraries across the country have also tried to use the phrase to get kids interested in reading. It hasn’t met with much success, because most kids today are interested in fantasy such as sparkly vampires rather than something as boring as the truth.

2) May the Force be With You

On the other end of the cosmic spectrum, we have this classic gem brought to you by the fine people at Kenner. See Mr. Watso’s post offering a fine bit of nostalgia for these hunks of plastic here. Many a modern day hippy has latched onto this piece of wisdom, finding it to be much more palatable compared to the complex notions found in Buddhism and Taoism. (A watered down version is easier to swallow for an empty head.)

1) Live Long and Prosper

The Mouseketeers Have a Hard Knock Life


With the most recent reinvention of Star Trek drawing from its early roots being nominated for four Oscars this year, it seems appropriate to place this mantra at the top of our list. It’s simple and elegant, and offers hope of a better tomorrow, but it allows people the freedom to interpret it and twist it to fit their own ideas of success. It’s pretty much the complete package, so no surprise about its global following. With the support of the medical community (doctors enjoy it when their patients can both live long and prosper), and with the U.S.c economy making some efforts to present a possibility of recovery, “Live Long and Prosper” may very well make a run to replace E Pluribus Unum on the Seal of the United States.

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