Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

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  • George Orwell

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    Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

    But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

    Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.

    Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.

    In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

    At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

    Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.

    John Stuart Mill

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

    The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.

    Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

    A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    Mark Twain

    Don't let schooling interfere with your education.

    All generalizations are false, including this one.

    A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.

    Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

    The Public is merely a multiplied "me."

    Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Winston Churchill

    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.

    However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

    In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.

    Otto Von Bismarck

    When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.

    I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.

    Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.

    Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.


    A witty saying proves nothing.

    If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.

    When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.

    I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.

    To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.

    Karl Marx

    Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.

    All I know is I'm not a Marxist.

    The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.

    Monday, October 04, 2004

    Why do people of goodwill hate Americans?

    By Mary Desmond

    When the original photographs of detainees in Guantanamo were released it must have been in early 2002, I remember taking time to send a thoughtful letter to the American Ambassador in Dublin and their Foreign Secretary, all pretty rhetoric, I think I said that asking their soldiers who had fought with such courage and honour now to humiliate their enemy would only degrade and humiliate men of valour, I recalled how the fascists of my day would party in Southall and afterwards parade the pigtails of the Sikh princesses, a spiritual castration. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    And I urged the Ambassador to urge his countrymen to comply with the Geneva Convention to which his country was a signatory. Today obviously I shouldn't bother.

    The point I wish to make is although others on my course liked the letter only one person sent a letter of their own and she used a false name and address because she was afraid that it might hinder her attempts later to gain a visa to visit the United States. Now you might think typical third world fear and paranoia. But she was an IT graduate, CISCO professional, and given the choice between civil liberties or being kidnapped tortured and blown up by terrorists who walk silently among you Americans made a choice.

    When Yusuf Islam a british subject loyally opposed to the War, the ageing hippie philanthropist was deported from the States before he could complete his next record deal; hits of the sixties and seventies were The first cut is the deepest, Matthew and Son, Wild World, for the duration of the Seventies he made Morning has broken the most popular secular wedding day song, and of course Moonshadow, (he took the lover's name Cat pillow talk about being feline). If your security services regard having a Muslim name and a beard as the mark of a terrorist several things follow. You are fucked. You will be bombed by a blonde blue eyed granny with terminal cancer. Second well I could go on but Americans are such an arrogant ignorant lot, your response remains who cares. We know you all hate us, and there is not a damn thing you can do for us anyway oh by the way can we send some more troops over coz now we are overstretched.

    I regret I am not going to offer a full explanation for the contempt in which all Americans are now held. But you all seem aware of anti-American feeling. I'd like to open the debate up and perhaps split the fact from the fiction, the rational from the irrational, let's name them and see what to do with them. I was going to wait to read more of the posts here but I was impressed by the Mick Arran, so reminiscent of Savanorola, in a good way i mean. For example the main reason Neil Kinnock was never made prime minister was because he had red hair which was balding. Maybe some of the reasons for anti-Americanism are equally irrational, I am suggesting the compilation of a list and an acknowledgement of where we are.

    Americans who have travelled are often comforted with the protocol response that we love Americans but it is your Government, foreign policy etc over which we have reasonable concerns. The two are clearly linked, but it's as if you invented denial, your Presidents claim that they weren't aware they were getting a blow-job from their intern, you say ooh how did that Government get there.

    Our hatred for you is more recent. There was always a sense that Americans moved from barbarism to decadence without any period of civilisation because essentially you like to save time. But there was something lovable about the powerful giant and Europe doted on her as a mother on her idiot child. Two world wars, the marshall plan, hollywood blockbusters 99 flavours of icecream, the modern pharmaceutical industry etc etc. The difference now is without a counterbalance, Lolita has become Caligula. I am surrounded by nihilistic terrorists, americans and arabs, why can't you two sort it out among yourselves. Which would I rather a lion ate me or a tiger, let them sort it out betwixt the two of them i say.

    When I see an American he is usually pushing his way through old frail women because he can, the nation is son to the man. I recall an anecdote about an american spiritual tourist visiting the Servite Mother House in Florence. He asked one of the doddering elderly brothers about relics, so he handed him a bunch of the third class relics of Peregrine as you do. No No he declaimed I have dollars and he pulled out a wad, bring me the real shit none of this crap. And this is part of the hatred we have for americans the brother climbed up the stairs and sold him the first class relics afterall he did have dollars, i am sure he also laughed at the americans' jokes.

    Part of the answer is to reclaim the mendicant tradition. Americans have money power and hubris. Traditionally of Mick Arran the response would be what do you mean our war, americans are the oppressors of the people, if you treat the world as if it comprises things for your consumption and use then how do you think you will end up treating yourselves. in evil times perhaps we need to make temporary alliances with a different kind of evil, vin diesel for President of Earth in time of course.

    As for calling us allies, you can call us what you please, can't you. It hasn't stopped you imprisoning British subjects and whatever the special relationship, treating them like animals. For God's sake these aren't Irishmen. They are British subjects. Aren't you lucky you have the death penalty when we tortured confessions from Irishmen because they were guilty of being Irish we had to release them fifteen years later.

    I caught on when one of the Queen's lifeguards started spouting off about some American tankbuster pilot going off on a jolly with no concern for human life repeatedly strafing his apcs early on in Gulf War II. Eton Cambridge Sandhurst minor relative to the Queen then Blues and Royals. He might have been a wog as far as the Americans were concerned. The least of your citizens is still an American. We are not your allies. You neither want them nor seek them.

    So when they parade Ken Bigley in US orange overalls, chained, blindfolded in a small iron cage, they don't need to say anymore. When americans then talk of the disgusting acts of people who do not respect human rights and civil liberties, they don't have to respond.

    There was a time the world was largely united with America 11 September 2001. Had you sought a coalition of the willing then you would have isolated arab terrorism. The next day or soon after I queued at the American Embassy in London, i left the rosary beads in the embassy garden, people had left flowers, candles, banners. It was clearly not just an American problem. But on that day too I saw palestinian women and children leaping with joy ululating and thanking God. Perhaps you should listen to them to why they hate you. They have a just cause. americans continue to ignore it, americans no longer get away with it.

    I had thought that the consequences of 9-11 was that we could not treat other peoples with contempt with injustice and think we could get away scot free. That now allowing continued injustice brought consequences for us. It appears however, that all it meant was that men of violence could do as they please for a time until those who live by the sword have all perished by the sword and another Empire appears to restore a balance of hatred. I don't want a visa to visit America so I understand if anyone who would like to see universal studios is afraid to post.

    posted by Mary Desmond at 10/04/2004 06:52:00 AM |

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