The Victorians have been immoderately praised, and immoderately blamed, and surely it is time we formed some reasonable picture of them? There was their courageous, intellectually adventurous side, their greedy and inhuman side, their superbly poetic side, their morally pretentious side, their tea and buttered toast side, and their champagne and Skittles side. Much like ourselves, in fact, though rather dirtier.
To those privileged ones -- among whom we count ourselves -- the high-resounding "isms" to which their contemporaries ask them to give their allegiance are all equally futile: bound to be betrayed, defeated, and finally rejected by men at large, if containing anything really noble; bound to enjoy, for the time being, some sort of noisy success, if sufficiently vulgar, pretentious, and soul-killing to appeal to the growing number of mechanically conditioned slaves that crawl about our planet, posing as free men; all destined to prove, ultimately, of no avail.savitri devi
I suppose there is something appealing about a word that everyone uses with absolute confidence but on whose exact meaning no two people can agree. The word that I’m thinking of right now is genre, one of those French words, like crêpe, that no one can pronounce both correctly and without sounding pretentious.michael chabon
Too large a proportion of recent "mathematical" economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols.john maynard keynes
It was in reading Tristam Shandy that I noticed how it is primarily men who gravitate towards the game-playing self-reflexive style. There is an alienation from emotion in it, a Nervous Nelly fear of letting go and being “exposed.” As an attitude towards life, it betrays a perpetual adolescence. Those who hurled themselves after Derrida were not the most sophisticated but the most pretentious, and least creative members of my generation of academics.camille paglia
One of the more pretentious political self-descriptions is "Libertarian." People think it puts them above the fray. It sounds fashionable, and to the uninitiated, faintly dangerous. Actually, it's just one more bullshit political philosophy.George carlin