Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Miss Manners.....

"I'm a veg Danny......"

Watched Caddyshack last night after I came back the to my room late as usual. Did get some time off on Sunday then back to the slave ship on Monday. The overseers seemed to have picked up some new whips in the interim. Did play golf though. Today in particular sucked.

The thing about working on a project like this is that it is mentally draining. And intellectually depressing watching egos and realities collide. Its also about seeing the haves and the have nots and how some people just are stupid and try as you might to keep them from being stupid they are hell bent to do it.

Speaking of ego's, the radio station I listen to on the way to work, is not the same one I listen to on the way home. So I change to another talk one which unfortunately has Bill O' Reilly on. That gets my anger up. For the last 3 nights running the little bastard has Been beating on the Webb story. You know, the one that was leaked by the White House about how the Senator elect was rude to the President for asking about his son. And how Webb in a fit of pique said words to the effect of "Its none of your Goddamn business and why don't you bring him home tomorrow" ( He said something slightly different, but that was the gist of it.)

Now O' Reilly just has been riding this like a cheap pony. And I'm not sure why. Seems to me that some people are rude and maybe Webb is one of them. Then again the people of Virginia elected him because he is different. At least he did not call Bush "Macaca".

What I think the incident points out how we have lost the art of the subtle insult. If Webb had some time to think about it or perhaps were a little faster on his feet he could have given the appearance of being polite to the mis decider, while ever so subtly driving his point home. Of course with this particular recipient there is not guarantee he would have gotten the message, but then again he is a politician.

They could have said something like this:

"So Jim, how is your boy?"

"Thank you for asking Mr President. He's fine. Lots of challenges to deal with as I am sure you know. Hot and all, lots of uncertainty, things are pretty hectic. He's dealing with it though. Mostly, however he just wants to know when he can come home."

Bush might have utter something pendatic. However Webb's point would have been made-without the headlines or the abuse. Does not matter if that is how his son really feels, Bush would never have known anyway. However it would have preserved the illusion of politeness.

The political equivalent of smiling while dealing with-morons.

We all do it. However in today's world less and less people are equipped to do it well. Probably the master of this talent was H.L. Mencken. Consider a few of these dandies from the master:

On life:
Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband's clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.

On women:

A man's women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them; they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence, or, as the common phase makes it, feminine intuition.

Or on the justice system:
It is the fundamental theory of all the more recent American law...that the average citizen is half-witted, and hence not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts.

Somehow I think Bush knows that one already. Ergo we have the Patriot Act or any of the other little affronts to the constitution.

On morality:
It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.

Or my personal favorite:
He marries best who puts it off until it is too late.

His creed is worth noting too. Several of its tenets are in line with my own:

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.
I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty...
I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.
I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech...
I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.
I believe in the reality of progress.
I - But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.

He had Islam summed up about right:

We must respect the other fellow's religion,but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart

Both Webb and GW could learn a thing or two from the master............

Miss Manners would approve.


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