For years, I have been, and still am, pondering about sentence which I've heard for the first time in the 1988 movie "Twins".
Geld ist Macht, und Dummheit lacht.
This is what, in the German dub, Vincent (DeVito) tells Julius (Schwarzenegger) in prison when he wants Julius to bail him out.
English original quote:
"Money talks, and bullshit walks".
I'm well aware of the meaning of the sentence insofar as language is concerned, as I'm a native speaker. However, ever since I first watched the movie, and every time I watch it again, the meaning of that quote puzzles me.
"Geld ist Macht" is not just a well-known quote, but a well-known fact, pretty obvious and needs no explanation. What's a lot less obvious is: Why does stupidity laugh?
I hope the answer isn't just "because it rhymes", that would be disappointing.
Is this thought to be an allusion to Julius who -- meeting his brother for the first time -- keeps up a broad smile? In other words, is this supposed to mean as much as "Bail me out. Geez, you're too stupid to even realize I'm making fun of you, aren't you?".
Though it's pretty obvious that Julius is neither stupid (maybe somewhat ivory-towery) nor laughing. So that doesn't seem to make sense.
There exists a passage in Eco's The Name of the Rose in which Jorge explains how laughing should be forbidden as it distorts the human face as to look like a stupid monkey. Is the quote to be understood in such a way?
Is this even a well-known proverb with a known source? (I've never heard it prior to watching that movie, and I couldn't find anything online)