Tuesday, December 19, 2006

say what?

Got a couple of photos from today's exciting voyage of discovery in South Wales to post in a bit, but that might have to wait until after some serious pizza-eating. In the meantime here are a couple of interesting quotations to mentally masticate on:
The essence of science is that it is always willing to abandon a given idea for a better one; the essence of theology is that it holds its truths to be eternal and immutable. To be sure, theology is always yielding a little to the progress of knowledge, and only a Holy Roller in the mountains of Tennessee would dare to preach today what the popes preached in the thirteenth century.
- H.L. Mencken
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
- H.L. Mencken (again)
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

And, via a link* of some considerable tenuousness, a fact of the day for you - Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan are the only two doubly landlocked countries on earth, i.e. they are landlocked, and surrounded by other countries which are also landlocked. FACT.

[* Solzhenitsyn's novel Cancer Ward is set in a hospital in what was then the Soviet Union, and is now Uzbekistan. Interesting, huh?]


The Black Rabbit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Black Rabbit said...

You quote Mencken.
Now you quite obviously know far more about this literary giant than I do - my favourite piece of writing is 'MIFFY GOES FLYING' as you know.

But, wasn't Mencken a 'yank' of German (said in a Stan Boardman stylee) origin, who was both elitist and racist (obviously very confused), who poured scorn on the Anglo-Saxons (strange?) and whose brain eventually just shut daaaaan completely? (conveniently blamed on a 'stroke').

[All gleaned from 'Wiki' of course - Miffy never met Mencken during his crazy airborne adventures....]

electrichalibut said...

Actually I don't know very much at all about Mencken; the second quote just caught my eye, and I nabbed the first one while I was there as well.

My take, for what it's worth, is that he was a literary provocateur who just liked saying the unsayable to see what sort of reaction it would get. Whether he actually was a racist or not I have no idea - that's the trouble with someone like Mencken who was prone to taking up positions just to annoy people; it's hard to know what he actually thought about anything.

Anyway, if I have to go and do a full biographical analysis of someone's acceptability before quoting them, then it's hardly worth the bother. I bet Solzhenitsyn nicked the odd potato from his fellow dissidents while he was in that gulag as well.....

....mine's a port and brandy if you're going.

electrichalibut said...

"Miffy Meets Mencken", though - I reckon it could be a winner.