Friday, March 06, 2009

Something Else

That last post was okay -- needed, I guess -- but if I access this blog and see it once again at the top, I think I'll go crazy.

The problem is I don't have anything truly profound or even entertaining to offer you right now. I mean, the most exciting thing going now, I guess, is that we're headed to Dallas this weekend for a mini-spring break trip with the kids. As part of that, we're going to see the King Tut exhibit, unfortunately without Steve Martin playing the title role.

In lieu of a bracing personal entry (but I hope one will come soon), here's some quotations I've found lately that have struck my fancy, and might strike yours as well.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

Arthur Schopenhauer
Our democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not.

Thomas Jefferson
Only the mediocre are always at their best.

Jean Giraudoux
I began to understand that there were certain talkers — certain girls — whom people liked to listen to, not because of what they, the girls, had to say but because of the delight they took in saying it. A delight in themselves, a shine on their faces a conviction that whatever they were telling was remarkable and that they themselves could not help but give pleasure. There might be other people — people like me — who didn’t concede this, but this was their loss. And people like me would never be the audience these girls were after anyway.

Alice Munro, in “Some Women”
Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy.

Charles Peters
Last time i saw Count Basie, he was in a wheelchair. They wheeled him up onto the stage, he sits down at the piano, and he gives the downbeat, and that band played like they were in heaven. And right in the middle, the band cuts. He had to take one hand and put the other down on it, and he comes down with one note. And it was the greatest note I ever heard in my life.

Les Paul, father of the electric guitar
When we did "School’s Out," I knew we had just done the national anthem. I’ve become the Francis Scott Key of the last day of school.

Alice Cooper
Staying recently in a South Yorkshire town called Rotherham — described in one guidebook as “murky,” an inadequate word for the place — I was interested to read in the local newspaper how the proprietors of some stores are preventing hooligans from gathering outside to intimidate and rob customers. They play Bach over loudspeakers, and this disperses the youths in short order; they flee the way Count Dracula fled before holy water, garlic flowers, and crucifixes. The proprietors had previously tried a high-pitched noise generator whose mosquito-like whine only those younger than 20 could detect. This method, too, proved effective, but the owners abandoned it out of fear that it might damage the youths’ hearing and infringe upon their human rights, leading to claims for compensation.

Theodore Dalrymple, in the Jan. 29, 2009 issue of City Journal

1 comment:

sarahgrace said...

I love the genius quote. It is sooo true, and in a few different ways as well. Good ones!