02 November 2010
Do you know what bothers me? Is that every election year as well, you get the voter registration drives aimed at the young people. 'Rock the vote! The vote's crack-a-lackin'! Think the vote! You'll music the vote! Mmm-doo-doo-duh-doo-doot! Here: the vote! the vote! the vote! the vote! the vote! the vote! the vote!' Are we so lost we have to be sold our own democratic right? What the Hell is wrong with--what is going on? We have to sexy up the vote for young people? Remember four years ago Puff 'Diddley' had that group, 'Vote or Die!'? Then it turns out he didn't even vote himself? Maybe he forgot which name he registered under.
Listen, here's what I'm saying to you, here's what I would say, here's what I would say: if you don't vote, you're a moron. Right? Just something else: I know what you're saying 'Well, not voting is a vote.' No it isn't. Not voting is just being stupid. Voting is not sexy. Voting is not hip. It is not fashionable. It's not a movie. It's not a video game. All the kids ain't doing it. Frankly, voting is a pain in the ass. But here's a word, look it up: it is your 'duty' to vote. Duty! The foundation, the foundation in this democracy is based on free people making free choices. So: young people, if you can't take your hand out of your bag of Cheetos long enough to fill out a form, then you can't complain when we wind up with 'President Sanjaya'.
Listen, I'm an American. This country as it is, at war, right now; Americans in foreign lands, wearing uniforms, representing this country, are losing their lives. Americans here in this country are losing their homes. We have two patriotic candidates, right? They both love this country. They have different ideas about what to do with it. Learn about them. Read about them. Question them. Listen to them. Then, on election day, exercise your sacred right as an American, and listen to yourself.
~ Craig Ferguson - The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson ~
06 July 2010
You watch, the next story is going to be millions of conversions. That was his last gift to all of us.
~ Laura Ingraham after the death of Pope John Paul II, as quoted by Peggy Noonan - John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father ~
03 July 2010
The dialogue now switched to French, for one of scientists in that country had developed a radically new drug which the French ambassador's wife was explaining, and I thought: this must be the only capital in the world where a sophisticated international audience can discuss with all seriousness the control of the upper and lower bowel. Yet no aspect of Afghan life was more significant than this, for when the virulent Asiatic diarrhea, known locally as the Kabul Trots, struck, it was not a like a stomach ache back home. It was a sickness which nauseated, embarrassed, debilitated and outraged the human body. In a land where toilet facilities were not excessive, diarrhea was a scourge, and I was willing to gamble that not a single person in that softly lit room, lined with books, was without his or her secret vial of pills and even more secret roll of personal toilet paper.
"What do you do for the disease?" the French ambassador's wife asked Moheb Khan in French.
"It's very simple," Moheb replied in lilting English. "You Europeans are always shocked at our open water supply into which little boys urinate. Or worse. But what happens? From drinking such water most of our children die, and that's neither a curse nor a blessing. They die and that's that. So the life expectancy in Afghanistan is about twenty-three years. But that figure doesn't mean what it says, not really. For if by chance you are one of the babies who does not die, you are one of the babies who does not die, you are inoculated against positively everything. Look about you. See the large number of our men who live to an extreme old age. With the women, I can assure you, it is the same. If you drink our water till you are seven, nothing can kill you but a bullet." He thumped his chest and laughed.
A rotund English doctor, on temporary duty in Kabul, said quietly, "You know of course, he's not teasing. Take poliomyelitis, which strikes so many children in an antiseptic country like America..."
"Here no child gets polio," Moheb Khan insisted. "But you Europeans who come to us later in life, when you've not had the inoculations our water imparts... How many cases have we had of polio among the Europeans?"
"Many, even in my time," the fat doctor concurred.
~ James Michener - Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan ~
02 July 2010
Bon vivant, wit, and tireless author, Chesterton lost the debate about the future direction of society to his contemporaries H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, and George Bernard Shaw. Chesterton saw the implications of their vision of twentieth-century society, and he predicted exactly what would come of it. Chesterton is not a congenial stylist to the modern reader; his witticisms are formal, his references to contemporaries, lost in time. But his essential points are chillingly clear.
Originally published in 1922, this astonishingly prescient text [Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized Society] has much to say about our understanding of genetics then (and now), and about the mass seduction of pseudoscience. Chesterton's was one of the few voices to oppose eugenics in the early twentieth century. He saw right through it as fraudulent on every level, and he predicted where it would lead, with great accuracy. His critics were legion; they reviled him as reactionary, ridiculous, ignorant, hysterical, incoherent, and blindly prejudiced, noting with dismay that "his influence in leading people in the wrong direction is considerable." Yet Chesterton was right, and the consensus of scientists, political leaders and the intelligentsia was wrong. Chesterton lived to see the horrors of Nazi Germany. This book is worth reading because, in retrospect, it is clear that Chesterton's arguments were perfectly sensible and deserving of an answer, and yet he was simply shouted down. And because the most repellent ideas of eugenics are being promoted again in the twenty-first century, under various guises. The editor of this edition has included many quotations form eugenicists of the 1920s, which read astonishingly like the words of contemporary prophets of doom. Some things never change--including, unfortunately, the gullibility of press and public. We human beings don't like to look back at our past mistakes. But we should.
~ Michael Crichton - Next ~
01 July 2010
16 April 2010
14 April 2010
I'm not a very gadgety man in my life, I don't have gadgets. I'm not good with--I don't even have a microwave in my house. I'm not kidding, I don't. I won't have 'em. I didn't even get rid of it, I just never had one. Don't like 'em. The oven is fast enough for me, thank you. There's people [who] say, 'You need a microwave to cook quickly.' I don't think food should cook that quickly. I think that's witchcraft, there's something wrong with that. You know, 'Ding!', it's ready. That's not right! That's not right! And people always--you say, 'I don't want a microwave'--and people say, 'hey, you can do a baked potato in three minutes!' I can get through life without a three minute baked potato, all right? I can plan ahead an hour in my own life. 'No, I need a potato right now! Three minutes, that's all I've got! Then I need a baked potato!'
~ Craig Ferguson - The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson ~