Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Officer Shoots Obnoxious Beer-Drinker at PTA Meeting

Popcorn by The Colonel # 87

We recently learned the term “clickbait.” It means language aimed at drawing people to click on a link. For us, the locus classicus is “How Cruise Ships Fill Their Unsold Cabins.” It’s a very intense form of advertising, not for amateurs, although amateurs like us will try their hand (witness today’s headline). Feel free to report or make up examples: “All Residential Streets to be Narrowed to One Lane.”

Benjamin Franklin had a son, William, who was a Tory. He was arrested and detained in Middletown. Because of his inflammatory letter-writing, he was moved to Litchfield, where he could be guarded. Not clear why he couldn't be guarded in Middletown.

❁ Short fiction: Moses looked from the mountaintop out over the Promised Land. His last prayer granted, he lay down and closed his eyes. (21 words; reader submissions invited -- 25-word limit.)

❁ A Florida friend writes: “I’m old. I don’t care about much anymore. For example, I don’t care how much mercury there is in the cat food I eat."

❁ A bald guy we know got his Lenten ashes imposed as a big cross on top of his head, as if the Rapture is to be an aerial bombardment, and he wanted to be a good target.

❁ For meditators, a long mantra: “A point in time is the durationless boundary between two periods. A period is the time between two points. A point is not a period; a period is not a point.”

❁ More lore: “Judge not unless you can judge rightly. If you judge fish by their ability to climb trees, you will account fish stupid, whereas it is you who are stupid.”

❁ More noise in the news about calls to abolish the penny. Okay, but only in the context of “comprehensive coinage reform”: dime = ten cents; penny = half dollar; nickel = one dollar; quarter = five dollars. Paper money starts at ten dollars.

❁ H.L. Mencken had a trick for disarming critics. He answered all hostile letters with “You may be right.”

❁ An old friend has a similarly disarming way in arguments: “You’re right. I don’t agree with you, but you’re right.”

❁ That maneuver suggests another: “You’re wrong. I agree with you, but we’re wrong.”

❁ Dale Carnegie famously said, “Never criticize, condemn, or complain.”

❁ A Zen saying states: “No one escapes criticism.” One speculates that the meaning is, if you’re going to catch it either way, you may as well do the right thing.

❁ A literary critic advised: “Never say it’s not good. Just say you don’t like it. That way you’re quite safe.” Boy, was he wrong.

❁ Henry Ford reportedly said, “History is bunk.” It’s not clear to us whether he meant all histories are inaccurate or the study of history has no value.

❁ The saying “History is written by the victors” is associated with Churchill, but may go much farther back, and have many forms. Thought question: Is this a variant or a separate saying: “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan”?

❁ “Those who did not live before the Revolution do not know the sweetness of life.” --Talleyrand

❁ “History is the commonly agreed lie” and variations are attributed to Voltaire, Napoleon, and others.

❁ And once you reach Voltaire, this business of quotation must stop, because he’s an endless source of great stuff: “Give me ten minutes to talk away my ugly face, and I’ll bed the Queen of France”; “If you see a Swiss banker jumping out a window, follow him. There’s sure to be a profit in it.”

❁ Is there a Guinness world record for number of impossible things believed before breakfast?


Ed Zeppelin said...

Is it true that the wounded beer drinker referenced in the headline was abandoned by the shooter, and stumbled along until he fell by the wayside. He was then found by a Planning and Zoning commissioner, put out of his misery, slaughtered, skinned and now resides in said P&Z commissioner's freezer, and upon his hallway floor? Or not?

Tree Fanatic said...

Beer makes a pretty good marinade, although not usually while the critter is still alive.Tends to make the liver taste funny.