Quotes: Older Than They Think

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Is there a thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been long ago, in the ages which were before us.

But before and before, and ever so long before
And such contrivances were used,
The whole Confucian sea-board had standardized the lee-board.
And hauled it up or dropped it as they choosed
Rudyard Kipling, The Junk and the Dhow

When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer." Hans Gruber, Die Hard.
Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

Abby: It's like Bill Nye.
Gibbs: Who?
Abby: TV scientist? Had a kids show?
Gibbs: Ah, like Mister Wizard.
Abby: Who?

Animals engage in a struggle for existence; for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring.
— Arabic scholar Al-Jahiz, discussing the theory of evolution in the ninth century.

A "new thinker," when studied closely, is merely a man who does not know what other people have thought.
Frank Moore Colby

Jack Kirby did it first and did it better.
— Old comic creator's proverb

Nothing is created, everything is copiated.
Chacrinha, Brazilian TV host and humourist. The grammar was sacrified to maintain the rhyme.

I have a scoop for you. I stole his act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did.
Bill Hicks, commenting on similarities between his stand-up comedy routine and Denis Leary's.

When I was up in Winnipeg for the movie's premiere, some awestruck kid asked me, 'Hey man, a guy selling his soul to the devil, did you make that up?'" Williams says, chuckling. "And I said, 'Well, no, there was this guy named Goethe who did that.'

Arthur P. Hinman was the original birther, outstripping these Johnny-come-latelies by 128 years. Hinman was hired by the Democrats back during the 1880 presidential election to dig up dirt on Republican vice-presidential nominee Chester A. Arthur.

That's right: The Bourne Identity was first a TV movie in 1988. Everything's a remake these days.
Peter Paltridge, Platypus Comix's "Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising Vol. 6"note 

During this scene, Zack gives so many reaction looks to camera, I'm hoping to see SBTB cited as an influence on The Office, if Ricky Gervais can squeeze in such a statement between all the atheism, and the racist material that's absolutely fine because it's 'ironic'.
Stuart Millard on "Save the Max", So Excited, So Scared

Percival: ...and, egad! What's this? A magical ball emiting light?
Onlooker: Uh, Percival... you had the electric light bulb in 1909!
Percival: Ah, but I am an idiot!

With Moriarty, Doyle does such a brilliant job of writing a mafia don before they were invented. Every other supervillain ever since sounds like Moriarty. Goldfinger sounds exactly like Moriarty. He invented the supervillain. If you do him like that now, he sounds like the biggest cliche on earth.

Reeve agreed to do the movie on the condition that [Golan & Globus] make Street Smart, a movie where Reeve plays a reporter who makes up a pimp for a human interest piece, and then Morgan Freeman claims to be the pimp, and he gets stuck in his lies. Which is basically The Wire Season 5 twenty years early, with a soundtrack by Miles Davis.
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

The scene in TDKR that I'm thinking of is the bit where Crane (AKA Scarecrow) conducts rigged show trials of establishment figures in front of a baying mob. It made me think of the scene where Q, dressed up as a judge, puts Picard and his crew on trial in a phantom version of a court from the "post-Atomic horror". (I'd mention the offensively highlighted interracial make-up of both mobs... but that's pretty much par for the course. At least TDKR didn't have an evil oriental dwarf banging a gong).

Doctor Who flaunted the horror of making the people inside the Cybermen aware of what has become of them in "The Age of Steel" but Voyager got there first and did a much better job of it than just having someone say Im so sorry.
Doc Oho on Star Trek: Voyager, "Survival Instinct"

The Zapper is a prototypic version of the Wii.

I've heard some people compare this game to Portal — 'cause that's the only point of reference these fucking Millennials seem to have! First person puzzlers existed before Portal, did you know? You can make one with having to bow towards Bellevue!

This is a Metroidvania game! But it can't be, right?
George Weidman on System Shock