Profiles in Cowardice for 2015

QUENTIN CRISP

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Chappaquiddick Society

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QUENTIN CRISP 1908 - 1999
 

Quentin Crisp was a founding member of the Chappaquiddick Society and attended our inaugural launch in December, 1996 at the National Arts Club. A latter-day ‘Oscar Wilde,’ Crisp was a courageous advocate for gay rights DECADES before it would become fashionable. Crisp was already a senior citizen in 1968 when he became famous with the publication of his autobiographical ‘The Naked Civil Servant,’ later turned into a motion picture starring John Hurt as Crisp. Quentin then moved to New York City where he became a fixture, appearing over the course of three decades in his off-Broadway, ever-evolving one-man show “An Evening with Quentin Crisp.” The show was an elaboration of his famous quotes, observations, and commentaries that has earned him a place in the history of social criticism. Crisp appeared in several films as an actor - and actress - most notably as Queen Elizabeth I in the motion picture ‘Orlando.’ In the 1990s Crisp was honored by Pop star ‘Sting’ in his hit song about Crisp, “An Englishman in New York.”

The biting satire, wit, and social commentary of Quentin Crisp is both a legacy and a challenge to the Chappaquiddick Society to aspire to as we carry on the inspiration bestowed upon us by this self-described “Stately Homo of England.”

THE CHAPPAQUIDDICK SOCIETY’S TOP TEN QUENTIN CRISP-ISMS!

1. “An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.”

2. “Fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are.”

3. “If Mr. Vincent Price were to be co-starred with Miss Bette Davis in a story by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe, directed by Mr. Roger Corman, it could not fully express the pent-up violence and depravity of a single day in the life of the average family.”

4. “Men get laid, but women get screwed!”

5. “Never keep up with the Joneses; drag them down to your level!”

6. “The formula for achieving a successful relationship is simple: you should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities, but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.”

7. “There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”

8. “Vice is it’s own reward!"

9. “The war between the sexes is the only one in which both sides regularly sleep with the enemy.”

10. “When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an Atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, ‘Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don’t believe?’”