Monday, July 12, 2010

Quote of the Day

Having run into an esoteric Italian quote a while back, I have wondered ever since what it means. The saying goes, “The bed is the poor man’s opera.”

I dug through internet search engines in hopes of finding the meaning. Every English speaker I encountered immediately assumed it to reference sexual intercourse. Honestly, I initially thought along those same lines. It just didn't make sense to me, however. Is it supposed to be about performing? Sex is the great equalizer of the wealthy and the impoverished.

Several sources indicate a very different meaning, which I am more inclined to believe. Allegedly, the phrase was coined to illustrate how much a destitute person appreciates a proper place to sleep.

The saying came into being when only the prosperous could afford to attend opera, a prestigious social event of the day. Hence, no proper gentleman or lady would wish to miss a performance even as their indigent counterpart doesn't want to sleep in the alley.

I think this just goes to show that different eras and experiences provide very different conceptions. Also, I can see how much we have our minds on sex. That bodes well for me, since it's what I love to write.

Have you ever heard this quote? If so, I'd be curious to find out where, and how you took the meaning.

In my case, Marilyn Manson mentioned the phrase in a quirky interview. Does he give any other kind, you ask? Why yes, he does. On the film "Resident Evil", he gives a very intelligent commentary on the task of scoring the soundtrack.

So ends today's lesson on Italian proverbs and American shock rockers. I hope you enjoyed it!


  1. I've never heard this one before and have no idea what they meant. I don't know but it doesn't sound sexual to me.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Shelley! Somehow, I imagined some reference to a performance. :) Yet the notion just didn't fit and I like the alternate reasoning.

  3. I've never heard of it. But GFY in investigating the proverb.



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