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Take That: Real Life

  • In 1939, the DAR refused to let Marian Anderson sing in DC's Constitution Hall because she was black. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR, and her husband's administration arranged an outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial for a crowd of 75,000 and millions of radio listeners. Anderson went on to be the first African American to sing with the Metropolitan Opera, and in 1958 became a delegate to the United Nations.
  • Arguably, all the states that seceded from the Union during the American Civil War. Perhaps one of the best examples would be West Virginia. When Virginia seceded, part of the state didn't agree, and elected to secede from Virginia, forming the state known as West Virginia.
  • Judge William Adams. He abused his daughter one time too many, the daughter secretly recorded him and years later she, after receiving further harassment posted it on YouTube (warning: graphic), as a result of this, Judge Williams has been temporarily removed from the bench, pending further investigation. However, due to statute of limitations laws, it's highly likely that he will escape significant punishment.
  • Auto designer Giorgetto Giugiaro — who created the bodywork for iconic cars like the Lotus Esprit, De Lorean DMC-12, Maserati Ghibli and Volkswagen Golf — had a memorable reaction upon seeing Triumph's notoriously ugly TR7 during the 1975 Geneva Motor Show. After viewing the profile of the car, with the sculpted curve running along the side, he took on a puzzled expression, slowly walked around the car and exclaimed in startlement: "My God! They've done it to the other side as well!"
  • The Nobel Prize committee may have done this when they awarded the peace prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo. China had been begging the committee to grant one of their scientists a prize for many years, pouring millions into research programs to reach that end. Then the committee gave their first prize to a pro-democracy political dissident who's been locked up on an eleven year sentence. Norway, it seems, has a healthy sense of irony (Unlike all the other Nobel prizes, the Peace prize is awarded by a Norwegian committee).
  • In 2007, the Saudi monarch made a state visit to the U.K.; the Band of the Welsh Guards could either break a century of tradition by not heralding his arrival, or they could hail an absolute monarch with a not-so-spotless record, which the people of the United Kingdom don't look too highly upon. The solution they arrived at was to play the Imperial March from Star Wars.... For people who might like to see it, right here.
  • Dan Gilbert, the owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, decides upon learning that resident superstar LeBron James was leaving for the Miami Heat. Gilbert goes on record flailing at James in the media (accusing him of having "given up"), and then has his sports poster company, Fathead, slash the price of the LeBron Cleveland Cavaliers poster to $17.41, a reference to the year that Benedict Arnold was born.
    • Gilbert would also promise to the Cavaliers fanbase that Cleveland would win a championship before LeBron. Come 2012, LeBron got the last laugh.
    • And two years after that.. LeBron came back to Cleveland. (Both Gilbert and James expressed regret over how they had handled James' move to Miami.)
  • Many British newspapers protested against Southampton FC's ban on press photographers covering their games (in an attempt to make money by selling their own photos) in creative ways:
    • The Bournemouth Echo put up pictures of a match between Bournemouth and Southampton... from The Eighties.
    • The Swindon Advertiser used Subbuteo figures to re-enact key moments from Swindon's gane against the Saints.
    • The Plymouth Herald had a cartoonist draw sketches of key moments from Plymouth Argyle's game, akin to the famous comic Roy of the Rovers (although they ended up getting photos from Argyle anyway).
    • The Sun simply flat out refused to mention them (or their players) by name.
  • King Charles II of England once got in an epic Take That. One day he was visiting Barbara Palmer, one of his mistresses, when he became suspicious and opened the closet - only to find a very naked young man shivering inside. He looked the young man (John Churchill, the future Duke of Marlborough) up and down contemptuously, then said, "Don't worry, John, I'm not angry at you. I know you're only doing it for the money."
  • The Norwegian constitution, ratified May 17. 1814, opens with a strong Take That to the treaty of Kiel, ratified in January 1814. The treaty stated that Norway was to be handed over to Sweden. The opening paragraph of the Norwegian constitution states quite clearly that the country is "independent and not to be handed over". The constitution was also a Take That to Sweden, as this made Norway almost ungovernable from a Swedish point of view. Every time the Swedish king tried to strengthen his position of power, the Norwegian parliament stalled him.
    • The first paragraph, and several others. came in handy when the issue of membership in The European Union was discussed, as the constitution time and again would be violated if a membership was ratified.
  • Esperanto, the Universal Language has a jab against its rival conlang, Volapuk; the Esperanto phrase "Tio estas volapukaĵo por mi" is used to say something is gibberish. Ergo, "volapuk" is Esperanto for "gibberish". Zing! (Well, it's more like "That's Greek to me", which is used in English and Swedish, but the intention, that Volapuk is gibberish, remains.)
  • John F. Kennedy scored a point against Soviet Communism with this excerpt from a 1963 speech given in Berlin in the very shadow of the Wall cutting through the city:
    "Freedom has many difficulties, and democracy is not perfect. But we have never had to build a wall to keep our people in..."
  • Likewise, Nikita Khruhschev scored a point against the United States after an American U-2 spy plane was shot down by the Army over Cheylabinsk. When the Americans realized the aircraft disappeared, they tried to cover it up by issuing a press release stating aircraft had "gone missing". It even falsely claimed that "the pilot reported over the emergency frequency that he was experiencing oxygen difficulties." To help with this story, a U-2 plane was painted in NASA colors and shown to the public. After the Soviets found out about America's cover story, they released information that a spy plane had been shot down in Soviet territory, but he did not reveal that the pilot of this plane had also been found and that he was alive. With the information that was released, the Americans believed that they would be able to continue with their cover story that the crashed plane was a weather research aircraft and not a military spy plane, and went with Khrushschev's story. However, a few days later, he announced:
    "I must tell you a secret. When I made my first report I deliberately did not say that the pilot was alive and well... and now just look how many silly things the Americans have said."
The U.S. government was caught in a blatant lie and as a result lost credibility both at home and abroad; the pilot was not released until much later.
  • Religion in general. Many religions make Evil Knockoffs of other religions' deities (and other spirits) in an attempt to demonise them.
  • Botanist Johann Sigesbeck criticised Carl von Linné's system of plant taxonomy. In response, Linné, who also was the inventor of the binominal nomenclature, named a small and useless weed Sigesbeckia.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien delivered a Take That to the Nazi Regime in 1938 in response to a letter from a potential German publisher/translator of The Hobbit, in which he was asked if he was of Arisch origin (emphasis original):
    "I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people."
    • Tolkien wrote two letters, one tactful, the other less so, and told his publisher to send whichever he liked. The tactful letter was sent and later lost, leaving only the more combative version to survive.
    • It also includes a far subtler insult than the reference to Jews: Hitler wasn't too keen on Gypsies either. Tolkien, (probably) knowing that the Nazis hate Gypsies, pointedly includes them in a list of actual "Aryans"—a list that also specifically excludes Germans (and Tolkien himself was German—from Lower Saxony—in the male line).
    • Charlie Chaplin and Jorge Luis Borges independently came up with more-or-less the same reply to their Nazi detractors (minus the schooling in Indo-European linguistics.)
  • Similar to the Tolkien example above, T.H. White decried the Nazi party and Hitler in The Once and Future King by having Merlyn rant about "an Austrian" and his ideas in response to something stupid that Kay says.
  • The United States of America's national motto and Pledge of Allegiance both contain a Take That against Communism. Since 1782, the nation's most popular unofficial motto was E Pluribus Unum, meaning "Out of Many, One," a literal and poetic description of a nation formed from different states, peoples and ideologies. However, in 1952, the United States Congress declared "In God We Trust" to be the official motto of the nation. It also included the phrase "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance, sticking it between "one nation" and "indivisible." The nation had basically branded itself as a religious counterpoint to communist atheism.
    • Jon Stewart brings this up occasionally, but in the linked example he laments that apparently the people bringing this issue up (read: Republicans) had nothing better to do because the motto was not under threat. He changes his mind later in the video though, because we now really have to put our trust in God, because God knows, "we can't trust in them".
      • Some people stamp the money as a take that to the slogan.
      • Ironically Francis Bellamy, writer of the Pledge, was a Christian socialist and Baptist minister, who did not put in any religious references. It was also recited originally along with the "Bellamy salute" which was later dropped as it resembled the Nazi or fascist one [1].
  • It is said once that representatives from Turkey complained to the Soviet premier Khrushchev that Soviet Armenia had on its coat of arms the mountain of Ararat, which is in Turkey, and not owned by the Armenians. The Soviet answer? "You have a crescent on your flag. Do you own the Moon?".
  • Wild Wild West. Robert Conrad, star of The Wild Wild West TV series, appeared at the Razzie awards the year the movie came out to express his disgust with the quality of the picture. He even accepted three of the five awards the film "won".
  • Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus does a mild Take That to PETA and other groups that accuse them of abusing their elephants. They take great care to point out how well they take care of their elephants and that an unhappy elephant could go on a rampage (so it's good to keep them happy). One act had the MC say "You know, some people don't like it when we make elephants do tricks. So we'll have the elephants make the people do tricks!" The elephants held up signs in their trunks that said "Sit", "roll over", "Back flip" or "Headstand" and the acrobats would do what the sign said.
  • The Russians recently got to the North Pole (or really close to it). The U.S.A. complained what was their right to go to the North Pole and stick their flag in there. The Russian answer? "No one complained when you guys stuck your flag on the moon".
  • In the ancient world, it was not uncommon to engrave sling ammunition. Occasionally phrases like "Take that" or "Catch" would be featured.
    • The practice of having messages on ammunition has carried at least as far as World War II, when bombs had Take That messages painted on them. One example from the British: "To Adolf, Express Delivery Via Lancaster To Berlin!"
    • It also made it to Vietnam, when the US Navy dropped a toilet on North Vietnamese troops.
    • After 9/11 terrorist attacks, on a bomb loaded on a U.S. fighter: "Highjack [sic] this, fags."
  • Capcom bowdlerised non-Japanese versions of Breath of Fire IV by removing the scene featuring Fou-lu decapitating Soniel after being the victim of a Back Stab even though the original Japanese version was itself hidden behind a black-on-red silhouette screen. The manga adaptation (which was supervised by Capcom Japan) did an apparently deliberate Take That to that act of censorship by essentially ramping everything Up to Eleven in the "Decapitation Chapter" (and COMPLETELY uncensored) in what is the single most graphic part of the manga.
  • Tyra Banks had Tyra Banxxx on her show in 2005, and urged her to quit pornography. Tyra with three X's said she would; not only did she not do so, but shortly afterwards she dealt a Take That to the head of Bankable Productions by starring in America's Next Top Porn Model, a parody of guess what.
  • When Otto Von Bismarck received a German book written in Antiqua font (as opposed to Fraktur, which was normally used for German in the 19th century), he would send it back to whoever gave him it with a message saying "I do not read German books in Latin letters!"
  • When trying to connect to a PC on a network in Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) or later, the PC's icons are displayed as beige VGA monitors showing a Windows 3.1/9x Blue Screen of Death. The fact that they Apple chose to represent PCs such an outdated style of monitor and blue screen might have been part of the insult in itself.
  • Major warships have often been named after victorious battles or commanders, not only to help promote self pride and a sense of tradition, but also to subtly remind foreign nations just exactly who currently holds historical bragging rights.
    • The Royal Navy once took this to its logical conclusion by naming a British ship Ville de Paris. Why? Because normally they kept the old names (Chesapeake, Christian XII, Tonnant, Temeraire) of captured enemy warships when they recommissioned them into the RN. Unfortunately, the original Ville de Paris had been captured during the Battle of the Saintes and then wrecked. Irritated that they didn't get the obvious bragging right, they simply named a new ship and had done with it.
  • Mitt Romney did this with Big Bird when talking about money being borrowed from China during a presidential debate. President Obama tried to respond with an ad featuring Big Bird, only to be asked by the Sesame Workshop to take down the ad, as they are non-partisan.
    • Obama got the last laugh during the 2013 inauguration when Senator Charles Schumer of New York introduced a musical guest as "the Tabernacle Choir --Beat-- the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir". Had Mitt Romney been victorious one could have rest assured that any Tabernacle Choir appearing at the inauguration would have had much better name recognition and not come from a hotbed of sin.
  • The Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik described songs like My Rainbow Race as propaganda for multiculturalism. Subsequently, some 40 thousand people gathered on the main square in Oslo (with more elsewhere around Norway), singing the very same song.
  • American McGee was asked by EA to add more "spice" (read: sex, gore, Gorn, and general gratuitous offensiveness which McGee described as "Dante's Inferno + Alice") in Alice: Madness Returns in hopes the game would receive an "M" rating. American McGee responded with the "M-Snail", a ludicrously Not Safe for Work bit of terrornote  EA rapidly backed down and did not press the issue further.
  • Tour de France 2009 had the Danish national anthem playing when Alberto Contador won the race. The Take That wasn't directed at Contador, but at UCI (international cycling union), ASO (people arranging TdF), Danish Cycling Union and team Rabobank, for getting Rasmussen kicked out of the race two years prior, where Contador is the name of the winner in the history books.
  • Two Truman examples:
    • The "Dewey Defeats Truman" photograph.
    • When he first met with Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, he dropped a Cluster F-Bomb on him for Russia's failure to live up to its postwar promises. When Molotov claimed he had never been spoken to like that, Truman replied "Keep your promises, and you won't be spoken to like that."
  • In commemoration of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Google changed their logo to a rainbow filled with different sports... in a Games surrounded by controversy due to anti-homosexuality laws being passed in Russia, as well as the governments refusal to stop gay bashing by Russian gangs.
    • The Canadian Olympic team posted this.
    • Let's not forget the direct insult from US President Barack Obama, who not only pointedly refused to attend the opening ceremonies, but also sent a delegation composed primarily of gay current and former US Olympiansnote  in his stead.
  • During the run-up to the 1994 Winter Olympics, with the subtext of the vicious rivalry between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Hardingnote , Harding called herself the "Charles Barkley of figure skating". In what could also qualify as both Self-Deprecation and a CMOF, Barkley responded, "I was going to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized that I have no character."
  • Southern TV, the franchise holder for ITV in the South of England from 1958, lost its franchise to TVS (short for Television South) in 1981. The company did not take this well at all, climaxing with a show on its final night including a song from Richard Stilgoe giving the middle finger to the replacement. The entire song is here.
    It'll be all systems go/In our Maidstone studio/Just as soon as we find out where Maidstone is!
  • One beatiful was performed by the Barcelona right back Daniel Alves. After countless racist chants from the stands, during a game against Villareal, a supporter throws a banana at him when he's preparing to take a corner kick. Dani Alves calmly walks to the banana, eats it and takes the corner without as much as looking at the stands. Just beatiful.

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