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.
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.
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.
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.
After weeks of talking about this, or so it seems to me, the first issue of my first webzine devoted to highlighting a few of the best blog-posts I could find has finally been published.
Blog Tower will, I hope, serve several purposes. First, it will give people a second chance to read great posts they may have missed the first time around. Second, it will start to call attention to the great writing in blogs that's been going largely unnoticed not just by the general public but by blog readers themselves. And third, it will foster continuing conversations about issues that tend to get picked up and dropped along with the daily news by re-publishing posts on those issues in special sections.
In this first issue, for instance, the Religion page is devoted to posts about the role of faith in public life and includes two posts written by evangelicals--one who still is and opposes an evangelical litmus test, and one who left the movement and talks about why--as well as a centrist's thoughts on the 'Great Awakening' and what it might mean.
But there's lots more: pages on politics, the arts, and humor, as well as a page that will showcase a featured article in every issue. This issue it's a moving, beautifully written piece by a soldier serving in Iraq who finds her father's face in the faces of the Iraqis around her. In a way, it's a meditation on the universality of laugh lines, and how to read them.
I suppose Thanksgiving week wasn't the best time to launch an effort like this. What can I say? I forgot. But I hope when things calm down next week you'll take a few moments to check out the work presented by Blog Tower, and then check out the sites where the pieces come from. A few of them regular readers of the Alley will be familiar with, but quite a few more they may not be, and they're all worth more than one look.
Incidentally, it should be noted that PBA members figure heavily in the make-up of this first issue--about half the contributors belong. That isn't because I was prejudiced, it was because so many of the PBAers write so damn well. If you don't believe me, check it out for yourself.
Finally, if I have been MIA the last few weeks, it's mostly due to the election and getting BT ready, not because I've lost interest in posting here. Plus, Net Politik has so many fine writers now that there's been no dirth of talent hereabouts. I will try to post more often, but I can't promise anything: I'm getting two other zines ready for publication, Aardvark Monthly, a humor zine aimed for a Dec launch containing material written especially for it by some of the funniest bloggers around (including one of the trio from Fafblog--or maybe all three; I don't know yet, they haven't told me--and Lumpenblog's Dan Roentsch debuting a devastating and devastatingly funny take-off of 'The O'Reilly Factor' that I hope will become a regular feature), and a third zine aiming to be the bloggers' equivalent of The Atlantic Monthly or Harper's.
I promise to try to keep you up on everything that's happening, and hope you'll enjoy what we're planning. In the meantime, you can usually find me at the Alley or at Dispatch from the Trenches.
"Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik
PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.