She says she said, “I want to be left alone.”

May 4, 2024 | 2 comments

Greta Garbo,. Swedish -American actress,active in films 1920-1941

Even back in Greta Garbo’s day (1905-1990) they couldn’t get it right,  She was famous for saying “I vant to be alone” but always claimed that she was misquoted and hadn’t said that at all.  She insisted she’d said “I want to be left alone” and pointed out that the word “left” made all the difference.

Right now, either version of her statement works perfectly for me when it comes to the online disruptions I face no matter what program or device I am using.  Whether it’s the ad-blockers or the folks telling me that I’m missing out on life’s most important aspects by enging ad-blockers, or facebook locking me out because they don’t understand English usage or any other of a hundred ways that Big Brother is trying to interfere with my freedom of expression, it is making me crazy!!

William Bendix was active as a film, radio, and television star from 1936 to 1964.

I’ve given up responding to any and all of it — just continuing on my merry way until they won’t allow me to do so any more.   “What a revoltin’ development this is” to quote Chester A. Riley of the radio show  of my childhood, “The Life of Riley.”

William Bendix (1906-1964) starred as in the title role — a blundering wing riveter at the fictional Cunningham Aircraft plant in California.   His frequent exclamation of indignation—”What a revoltin’ development this is”—became one of the most famous catchphrases of the1940s.  I think we listened to the show in front of our Philco radio every Tuesday night.

My memory says our old radio looked like this, but maybe not so grand.

I think the show was long gone even by the time George Orwell was writing his 1949 book “1984” and introduced the “Big Brother” concept that we all lament today,   There is no doubt that the fertile minds of now are envisioning unimaginable scenarios as they work around their own Big Brother intrusions and  look at life forty years hence… And I wonder if. in reality, our world will seem as simple in retrospect as does the world of Garbo and Bendix when we look back in time.




  1. Caroline Miller

    If I recall, the sentece, ” I want to be alone,” (or a close version of it) was a Garbo line from the film, “The Grand Hotel.” As for the “Life of Riely,”, my, those were simpler days.

    • Sydney Stevens

      Indeed they were, Carolyn! I wonder what the next few generations will think of these daus… maube “the screen daus.” Woll they remember anything else?
      Scarey! Sydney


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *