A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 05, 2010
“To be disillusioned, one first must be illusioned”

"To become disillusioned you must earlier have been illusioned,” wrote Paul Fussell in 1982. Fussell was referring to childhood and growing up.

Voters often become disillusioned with a politician who gets elected, but doesn’t fulfill campaign promises to make life better. On February 24, 2010, disillusionment with President Barack Obama led to the statement: “You can only be disullusioned by Obama if you were first illusioned.” Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer added a similar thought on March 5, 2010: “Surprised? You can only be disillusioned if you were once illusioned.” In other words, the people who did not vote for the successfully elected politician (Obama) weren’t “illusioned” and can’t be “disillusioned.”


Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary
Main Entry: il·lu·sion
Pronunciation: \i-ˈlü-zhən\
Function: noun .
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin illusion-, illusio, from Latin, action of mocking, from illudere to mock at, from in- + ludere to play, mock — more at ludicrous
Date: 14th century
1 a obsolete : the action of deceiving b (1) : the state or fact of being intellectually deceived or misled : misapprehension (2) : an instance of such deception

Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary
Main Entry: disillusion
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): dis·il·lu·sioned; dis·il·lu·sion·ing \-ˈlü-zhə-niŋ\
Date: 1855
: to free from illusion; also : to cause to lose naive faith and trust
dis·il·lu·sion·ment \-ˈlü-zhən-mənt\ noun

Wikipedia: Paul Fussell
Paul Fussell, Ph.D. (born March 22, 1924) is a cultural and literary historian, and professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of books on eighteenth-century English literature, the world wars, and social class, among others.

Google Books
The Boy Scout Handbook and other observations
By Paul Fussell
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1982
Pg. 263:
To become disillusioned you must earlier have been illusioned.

Google Books
The Chomsky reader
By Noam Chomsky
Edited by James Peck
New York, NY: Pantheon Books
1987
Pg. ?:
Nor is he disillusioned. To become disillusioned is to have been illusioned — and this Chomsky is not.

16 April 1987, Richmond (VA) Times, pg. 14:
To be disillusioned one first must be “illusioned.” And the illusioned have no business serving as Secretary of State.

5 September 1987, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Notes on the Lost Generation: Ellis contructs a literary oasis on wasteland of adolescent rich” by Elizabeth Wurtzel:
Or, that you can’t be disillusioned when you never had an illusion to begin with?

6 January 1988, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “Mikhail Gorbachev sets forth his ‘new ideas,’” pg. 11:
To be disillusioned, one first must be illusioned.

21 February 1989, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, pg. A12:
It is useful to recall the remark of literary critic Paul Fussell, who said that before one can be disillusioned, one must first be illusioned.

Google Books
Japan and the world economy
Volume 3
By New York University. Center for Japan-U.S. Business and Economic Studies.
Amsterdam: North-Holland
1992
Pg. 101:
To be disillusioned you must first be illusioned.

New York (NY) Times
Books of The Times | ‘The Tristan Chord’
A Philosopher Explains Wagner’s Third Element

By JOHN ROCKWELL
Published: December 5, 2001
(...)
The text mixes clear-headed and often trenchant explication of sometimes arcane philosophical ideas, pungent writing ("To be disillusioned one needs first to have been illusioned") with wordy awkwardness ("Schopenhauer argued that it is this that is the . . .") and amusing Britishisms ("snook-cocking exuberance”; the “knockabout larkiness” of Nietzsche’s attacks on Wagner).

Botgirl in Chronological Order
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
To be disillusioned, one must first be illusioned

Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch
Warner as Senator: Second Thoughts?
By Staff Reports
Published: January 12, 2010
(...)
And while some of Warner’s backers may be dismayed, the words of a wise literary critic come to mind: To become disillusioned, one first must be illusioned.

The Huffington Riposte
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
YOU CAN ONLY BE DISILLUSIONED BY OBAMA IF YOU WERE FIRST ILLUSIONED

Washington (DC) Post
Onward with Obamacare, regardless
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 5, 2010
(...)
The man who ran as a post-partisan is determined to remake a sixth of the U.S. economy despite the absence of support from a single Republican in either house, the first time anything of this size and scope has been enacted by pure party-line vote.

Surprised? You can only be disillusioned if you were once illusioned. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, March 05, 2010 • Permalink