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.

Recent entries:
“I am rarely more focused on 5 seconds than when I’m waiting to skip an ad on the internet” (6/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/22)
“Coffee completes me” (6/22)
“I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand” (6/22)
“Sometimes all you need is a billion dollars” (6/22)
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Entry from July 16, 2016
“This is why we can’t have nice things”

"This is why we can’t have nice things” is a condescending way a mother might deny something to a child. The line was popularized by comedian Paula Poundstone who said in 1989:

“She (Poundstone’s mother—ed.) used to get mad over absolutely everything. I remember the time I knocked a Flintstones glass off the table and she said, “That’s why we can’t have nice things.’”

“This is why we can’t have nice things” became a popular meme in the 2000s..


Wikipedia: Paula Poundstone
Paula Poundstone (born December 29, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, author, actress, interviewer and commentator. Beginning in the late 1980s, she performed a series of one-hour HBO comedy specials. She provided backstage commentary during the 1992 presidential election on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She is a frequent panelist on National Public Radio’s weekly news quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.

KnowYourMeme
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Updated 9 months ago by The Cute Master :3.
Added 6 years ago by spazzyg64.
(...)
Origin
While the origins of the phrase itself predates history of the Internet, the image macros began gaining momentum on 4chan sometime in 2008 (see Search Insights).

According to online discussions on its roots in popular culture, one of the earliest notable mentions came from Paula Poundstone, an American stand-up comedian who used the phrase in her HBO stand-up special, Cats, Cops and Stuff (1990). In the skit, Paula tells her childhood story about dropping a Flinstones jelly-jar glass in the kitchen, to which her mother complained: “Oh, so we can’t have nice things.”

31 August 1989, Des Moines (IA) Register, “Peculiar Poundstone,” Datebook, pg. 3D, col. 3:
Asked about her upbringing, Poundstone recalls a story about her mom. “She used to get mad over absolutely everything. I remember the time I knocked a Flintstones glass off the table and she said, ‘That’s why we can’t have nice things.’”
-- Marie McCartan

19 May 1990, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “In it for laughs” by Janis D. Froelich, pg. 1D:
Most of her (Paula Poundstone—ed.) fans know the popular comic for such musings as, “My mom used to get mad over absolutely everything. I remember the time I knocked a Flintstones glass off the table, and she said, ‘Dammit, we can’t have nice things.’”

OCLC WorldCat record
This is why we can’t have nice things
Author: Stanford University. Marching Band.
Publisher: [Stanford, Calif.] : EMBO Records, [2003]
Edition/Format: Music CD : CD audio : No Linguistic Content

OCLC WorldCat record
This is why we can’t have nice things
Author: Diana Renée Smith
Publisher: [Gainesville, Fla.] : University of Florida, 2009.
Dissertation: M.F.A. University of Florida 2009
Edition/Format: Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : State or province government publication Computer File : English

OCLC WorldCat record
This is why we can’t have nice things
Author: Look I’m Burning (Musical group)
Publisher: [Wis. : Look I’m Burning, 2010].
Edition/Format: Music CD : CD audio : English

YouTube
Jane Austen’s Mafia! (1998) clip - This is why we can’t have nice things
gaycopshow
Uploaded on Apr 9, 2011
I haven’t seen this movie since it was in theaters, but this is the only part worth seeing.

OCLC WorldCat record
This is why we can’t have nice things : mapping the relationship between online trolling and mainstream culture
Author: Whitney Phillips
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2015]
Series: The information society series
Edition/Format: Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
“Internet trolls live to upset as many people as possible, using all the technical and psychological tools at their disposal. They gleefully whip the media into a frenzy over a fake teen drug crisis; they post offensive messages on Facebook memorial pages, traumatizing grief-stricken friends and family; they use unabashedly racist language and images.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, July 16, 2016 • Permalink