Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming ‘WOO HOO what a ride!’”
-Hunter S. Thompson
If we offer too much silent assent about mysticism and superstition – even when it seems to be doing a little good – we abet a general climate in which skepticism is considered impolite, science tiresome, and rigorous thinking somehow stuffy and inappropriate. Figuring out a prudent balance takes wisdom.
- Carl Sagan
In yesterday’s Republican debate, Michele Bachmann made an uncharacteristically lucid comment regarding Newt Gingrich’s claim that “I did no lobbying of any kind for any organization.” (Freddie and Fannie)
You don’t need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling.
Gingrich comes off as very Clinton’esque when he makes his “I didn’t lobby” claims.
Of course, at another point during the debate, Bachmann headed back to her comfortable but loopy world of sunshine and rainbows.
I think it’s just outrageous to continue to say over and over throughout the debates that I don’t have my facts right, when it as a matter of fact, I do. I’m a serious candidate for president of the United States, and my facts are accurate.
That sounds very much like, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
With two notable exceptions, the Republican candidates really need to take a page from Woodrow Wilson’s playbook.
Of course, like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised.
Letter to Winterton C. Curtis (29 August 1922)
Update: Sadly, it seems Romney is hedging on the science, presumably to pander to the science deniers that tend to inhabit the Republican base and the Tea Party. He said, ”Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”
As I’ve said before, if you want to argue policy, that’s fine, but do it honestly. Don’t try to discredit the science just because you don’t like related policy suggestions.
… [B]eware those who deride predictive science in its entirety, for they are also making a prediction: that we have nothing to worry about. And above all, do not shoot the messenger, for this is the coward’s way out of openly and honestly confronting the problem.
- Dr. Kerry A. Emanuel during the Congressional hearing for U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science Space and Technology
Interestingly, those who “deride predictive science in its entirety” are frequently the same folks who deride science in general when it reaches conclusions that don’t support their pre-existing political or religious ideology.
That’s all too common.
People who know me well know that my favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. Ever since college, it’s been at the top of my list and I think I’ve seen it well over 30 times, though I lost count a long time ago.
Whenever I had a bad day, I’d pop that movie in the VCR. If I was extra lucky, a good friend who also loved the movie would come over, too, and the two of us would sit there watching it and talking along with almost every single word of dialog. To anyone else, it would have been annoying beyond compare, but to the two of us, it was bliss. By the end of the movie, the bad day had been forgotten and the sunlit world of happy endings had taken over.
I’ve always had a knack for remembering lines from movies, songs, or scripts, something that came in handy during my participation in high school plays, musicals, and barbershop quartets. It’s also something that is a source of aggravation…either for me or for someone else who gets a movie quote wrong while I’m around.
“No. She didn’t say ‘like that.’ She said, ‘I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.’”
Believe me, if you’re not surrounded by friends who really like you (or by happy drunk people), that kind of thing gets eye rolls of derision.
I’ve learned (mostly) to keep it in check unless I’m just teasing a friend… or my boss. The only time it’s really tough to do is when someone screws up dialogue from a favorite movie; specifically The Princess Bride.
Recently, my father-in-law was visiting (which is good, since I like my in-laws). He’s usually sleeping when I go to work, so I don’t get to see him in the mornings, but this particular morning, I was taking it easy and left the house later than usual, so he was up. As I was saying goodbye and was walking out the door, he said (in a Jewish Miracle Max voice), “Good luck stormin’ da castle!”
I smiled. I chuckled. I closed the door behind me. I got in my car. I started the engine. I pulled out of the driveway. I took a deep breath.
“It’s ‘HAVE FUN stormin’ da castle!’”
And that is how my knack for remembering movie dialogue creates aggravation for me.
But family harmony was preserved… which, like bacon, is a good thing.