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THE WEBLOG ARCHIVE: Quotation Ad Propositum

December 08, 2005

Boners #3 | 12:39 PM

"Faith is that quality which enables us to believe what we know to be untrue."
-1920s schoolchild

December 07, 2005

Boners #2 | 12:39 PM

"Science is material. Religion is immaterial."
-1920s schoolchild

December 06, 2005

Boners #1 | 12:35 PM

"The theory of evolution was greatly objected to because it made men think."
-1920s schoolchild

Boners Intro | 12:29 PM

In 1931, Alexander Abington released a book entitled "Boners," a word which, at the time, carried a completely non-sexual connotation -- it meant, in essence, "screw ups." ("Screw" meant in a completely non-sexual way, of course.) In this book, Abington collected mistakes he had gleaned from student papers during his years as a teacher. (The internet, of course, has replaced print publishing as the preferred manner in which to convey "boners" collected by modern schoolmarms.)

But many of the statements Abington classified as "mistakes" are, in fact, moments of deep insight from Jazz Age school kids, and remain relevant even to this new millenium. They are in fact so relevant, they might even be considered "axioms". (As one child observed "An axiom is a thing that is so visible that it is not necessary to see it".)

Over the next few days, I will share some of the most acute of these observations on this very web presence.

SRoberts comments: "Did you know that that 1931 published comment from a 1920s child about "faith" appears almost word for word in Dracula by Bram Stoker published in 1897? The copy I have derives it from Mark Twain - Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar in The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894) where it is attributed to "a schoolboy" - this is getting very circular!"

November 08, 2005

Quotation Ad Propositum | 08:09 PM

E. Blackadder: "You could appoint him a high court judge."
George II: "Is he qualified?"
Blackadder: "He's a violent, bigoted, mindless old fool."
George II: "Sounds a bit overqualified."

October 23, 2005

Quotation Ad Propositum | 10:14 PM

"If there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars."

— Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, in reference to the 1998 impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton 2003 Bush White House Leak [NYTimes]

September 17, 2005

Quotation Ad Propositum: Texans | 11:36 AM

An observation by Roald Dahl on Texas, from the short story The Last Act:

...during those trips, he and she had often spoken about Texans in general and how difficult it was to like them. One could ignore their coarseness and their vulgarity. It wasn’t that. But there was, it seemed, a quality of ruthlessness still surviving among these people, something quite brutal, harsh, inexorable, that it was impossible to forgive. They had no bowels of compassion, no pity, no tenderness. The only so-called virtue they possessed — and this they paraded ostentatiously and needlessly to strangers — was a kind of professional benevolence. It was plastered all over them. Their voices, their smiles, were rich and syrupy with it. But it left Anna cold. It left her quite, quite cold inside.
“Why do they love acting so tough?” she used to ask.
“Because they’re children,” Ed would answer, “They’re dangerous children who go about trying to imitate their grandfathers. Their grandfathers were pioneers. These people aren’t.”

November 15, 2004

Quotes of the Day | 11:26 PM

Thoughts from a potentially crazy man in the E/V station, 5th & 53rd:

• "Bush stole the election... stealing makes you a winner!"
• "Every man has the basic right to an abortion."

February 10, 2003

Quotation ad propositum | 11:22 AM

Originally, I planned to call this blog Now That I'm Honorable, and chronicle my myriad attempts to make this troubled world a better place. These quotes convinced me to do otherwise:

"We must bear in mind the distinction between fame and honor... Existing in the reputation a person has regardless of his or her accomplishments, fame does not tarnish as honor does when it is unmerited." —Mortimer J. Adler, “Wrong Desires,” Desires Right and Wrong: The Ethics of Enough

"Honor ... means that a man is not exceptional; fame, that he is. Fame is something which must be won; honor, only something which must not be lost." —Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena, vol. 2

January 04, 2003

Quotation ad propositum | 03:25 PM

"Those totally lacking in virtue may achieve fame as readily as, perhaps even more easily than those who are virtuous. Fame belongs to the great, the outstanding, the exceptional, without regard to virtue or vice. Infamy is fame no less than good repute. The great scoundrel can be as famous as the great hero; there can be famous villains as well as famous saints."
–Mortimer J. Adler, Desires Right and Wrong: The Ethics of Enough

December 13, 2002

Quotation ad propositum | 08:40 AM

Yeats: I envy those men who become mythological while still living.

Wilde: I think a man should invent his own myth.

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