Monday, September 17, 2012

Popcorn by The Colonel #9

The Brain Sees Patterns Where None Exist;

Some Kids Have Names Like Oliver Twist

The loss of classified advertisements to the Internet (Craigslist, E-Bay) has beggared most newspapers. Who knew that so much of most newspapers’ revenue came from those ads? The Times of London used to put its classifieds on page one. [1]

The decline of newspapers has meant that the political class has been getting away with murder even more than usual, because investigative journalism is expensive, and newspapers are poor. Even the great New York Times teeters, teeters.Pray that a new business model emerges, capable of paying the big bucks that investigative journalism requires. If that model emerges, our government will improve, because Big Journo will once more be watching closely. [2]

Middletown is overdue for a Category 3 hurricane like the one in 1938. Irene was not even a Category 1. Connecticut is much more “treed” now than in 1938. A Category 3 hurricane would knock down more than 40% of the state’s trees. Full power restoration would take an estimated 90 to 120 days. We’re nowhere near ready for that. CL&P has fewer linemen now than it did last Snoctober. [3]

Shifting gears, a former state official long ago described Middletown’s form of government as “government by tenured department heads.” The Colonel does not know whether that is or ever was true. [4]

Tyranny is the perversion of monarchy; oligarchy is the perversion of aristocracy; democracy (rule by the demos a/k/a hoi polloi) is a perversion with no unperverted form, according to many. Churchill, an aristocrat to his toe tips, said democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others. [5]

As Mr. Burns is leaving the Simpson home he says to his sidekick with deep consternation: "Ironic, isn't it Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That's democracy for you." [6]

Hope may cure despair, but there is no cure for hope. Many ancient Greeks held that hope, the last thing out of Pandora’s Box, was yet one more evil, and the worst of all, because hope tricks us into suppressing despair and continuing to live and suffer. “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering -- and it’s all over much too soon.” --Woody Allen. “Life is pain, and anyone who says differently is selling something.” --William Goldman [7]

Latest ruthless business book:  “How to Eliminate Your Enemies and Get Free Cheese” by The Second Mouse. [8]

The religious teacher Gautama Buddha grew up in northern India, not northern Indiana. The northern Indiana guy of the same name is not the founder of Buddhism, no matter what he claims on his blog. [9]


Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

The eyes (not "The Eye") sees things the brain does not register. The essence of misdirection in magic. Just read about it in Fooling Houdini.

Anonymous said...

This one- I enjoyed- well done.