„If you want a receipt for that popular mystery,
Known to the world as a Heavy Dragoon -
Take all the remarkable people in history,
Rattle them off to a popular tune!“

W. S. Gilbert photo
W. S. Gilbert1
1836 - 1911
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Thomas Carlyle photo

„Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world.“

—  Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881

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„People say, "He's the most popular guy in Russia." I say: "Yeah, I'd be popular too if I owned NBC."“

—  George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946
As quoted in "Is Putin Popular?" https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/03/is-putin-popular-c/ (2018), by Jay Nordlinger, National Review

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Ambrose Bierce photo

„A popular author is one who writes what the people think. Genius invites them to think something else.“

—  Ambrose Bierce American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist 1842 - 1913
p. 356

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George Raymond Richard Martin photo

„It doesn't seem to matter what gods you pray to. We all die, in the real world and in fantasy worlds, and if there was some religion where you did not die I suspect that would be, that god would become very popular.“

—  George Raymond Richard Martin American writer, screenwriter and television producer 1948
Context: I think worship of death is an interesting basis for religion, because after all death is the one universal. It doesn't seem to matter what gods you pray to. We all die, in the real world and in fantasy worlds, and if there was some religion where you did not die I suspect that would be, that god would become very popular. They all promise us eternal life, but whatever. Discussing the influence of real-life faiths on his work and its religious systems, Authors@Google (August 2011)

Walther von Brauchitsch photo
William T. Sherman photo

„If the people raise a howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity-seeking. If they want peace, they and their relatives must stop the war.“

—  William T. Sherman American General, businessman, educator, and author. 1820 - 1891
Letter to Henry W. Halleck https://books.google.com/books?id=HzBCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA367&dq=%22war+is+war+and+not+popularity+seeking%22++%221864%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mtOiVfTpC4uqogTytKPoBQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22war%20is%20war%20and%20not%20popularity%20seeking%22%20%20%221864%22&f=false (September 1864).

Robert Crumb photo

„Industrial civilization figured out how to manufacture popular culture and sell it back to the people. You have to marvel at the ingenuity of it!“

—  Robert Crumb American cartoonist 1943
Context: Before industrial civilization, local and regional communities made their own music, their own entertainment. The esthetics were based on traditions that went far back in time—i. e. folklore. But part of the con of mass culture is to make you forget history, disconnect you from tradition and the past. Sometimes that can be a good thing. Sometimes it can even be revolutionary. But tradition can also keep culture on an authentic human level, the homespun as opposed to the mass produced. Industrial civilization figured out how to manufacture popular culture and sell it back to the people. You have to marvel at the ingenuity of it! The problem is that the longer this buying and selling goes on, the more hollow and bankrupt the culture becomes. It loses its fertility, like worn out, ravaged farmland. Eventually, the yokels who bought the hype, the pitch, they want in on the game. When there are no more naive hicks left, you have a culture where everybody is conning each other all the time. There are no more earnest "squares" left—everybody's "hip", everybody is cynical. The R. Crumb Handbook by Robert Crumb and Peter Poplaski (2005), p. 180