Saturday, March 19, 2016

Vertigo Makes the World Go Round -- The Colonel Carries On #23

by Umlaut and the Moechtones

“When zombies arrive, quickly fax Judge Pat.” --pangram (a sentence that includes every letter of the alphabet, like "The quick brown fox overjumps lazydog")

“In 1948, in the wake of World War II and the [Shoah], the United Nations drafted the Treaty on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. It defines genocide as ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical [sic], racial, or religious group.’ Such acts include killing, causing serious mental or physical harm, causing conditions of life that will destroy the group, preventing childbirth, and kidnapping children. According to the treaty, United Nations member states, including the United States, must take action against such conditions. The goal was to ensure that nothing like the [Shoah] would happen again.” --Jane Clark Sharl

Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

--Eric Bogle, “No Man’s Land”

The treaty creates a perverse incentive not to call a genocide a genocide, because to do so triggers a duty to act and, say what you will about genocides, they crop up at inconvenient times and require quick, costly, dangerous action. So signatories find reason not to utter the “g-word,” except retroactively when it’s too late to do any good.

It might be better to revise the treaty to say that “in case of genocide no signatory shall have a duty to lift a finger to stop it, but each signatory nevertheless shall immediately call it what it is.”

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda,” by Philip Gourevitch

“I used to care. I take a pill for that now.” --Road Kill T-shirt

“I used to care, but things have changed.” --Bob Dylan

Women with high speaking voices often don’t sound good on radio. Cokie Roberts has a relatively low voice and sounds good. Cyndi Lauper might be an exception to the rule.

The heart knows what it knows: de affectu non est disputandum.

“The first time I ever saw your laughter
break loose inside and tumble out to me,
my heart knew it had found what it was after,
and it came
so easily”
--Kate Wolf, from Green Eyes

"Between the big thief and the little thief, it’s the big thief rules the land. With one hand, he puts a penny in the pot for the poor, and with the other takes another and a thousand more.” --Rory McLeod, “Singing Copper”

➽ “Penny Pot Poor” means “so skint that you resort to emptying your penny pot and cashing in your coppers in order to make it until the end of the month.” Source: Urban Dictionary contributor Snugglebum The Destroyer.

"Sikh and ye shall find."

New slogan for the antihistamine Benadryl: “Because you can’t sneeze when you’re in a coma.”

“The ApocaLips Four is a barbershop quartet comprising War, Pestilence, Death, and Poor Service.

There’s a story that Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked in 1972 whether the French Revolution was a good or a bad thing. “Too soon to say,” he famously replied. Zhou may have thought the questioner was referring to the 1968 upheavals in France, but if so, the error produced a remark “too delicious to invite correction,” in the words of a diplomat present.

“It is mystifying (no pun intended) why people of faith often cannot accept the criticism that religion is not based on reason. Simply acknowledging that fact ought not to be viewed as a threat.” --Rick MacDougall, Salt Lake City (NYTBR)

As one who believes that religion is not “based on reason,” I can see grounds for a believer not to “accept the criticism” that “religion is not based on reason.”

First, why is that a “criticism”? Is it a “criticism” of reason that it is, for example, not “based on” helping those in need?

Second, granting for the sake of argument that it is a “criticism,” are such critics unable to “accept” or to “simply acknowledge” that reason itself is not “based on reason,” in that no system can generate its own postulates?

Put otherwise, I think that such a critic of religion would hesitate to “accept” or “simply acknowledge” that “ neither reason nor religion is based on reason.”

Third, there is the matter of optics: the formulation “religion is not based on reason” is easily misunderstood as “religion is incompatible with reason” or, more bluntly, “religion is nonsensical.” Why should anyone affirm a formulation so easily distorted instead of something more nuanced?

Fourth, the fact that religion rests on postulates anterior to reason doesn’t mean that religion doesn’t apply reason to religion's own postulates and to the facts of experience in an effort to understand the world and to discover the best way to live.

Schroeder’s Cat: Just like Schroedinger’s Cat, only more positive. It’s alive whether you open the box or not, i.e., it’s simultaneously both alive and alive.

The Nietzschean nun: “If you stare long enough into the face of the Abbess, the Abbess starts to stare back into you.”

“Is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?”

“Why is there nothing rather than something?” asked no one, predictably.

Cruel opera star: Maria Callous.

“So much fork, so little tine.”

“I am holding up my end of the oar.” --Jarna Shrile

Separated at birth: You-know-who and Stephen Colbert

No comments: