September 28, 2004


What an awesome wish...
Flirting With Disaster
Troops Demoralized?

Posted by Sarah at September 28, 2004 10:56 PM

All Mrs Heinz-Kerry said was she would not be surprised if Osama turned up in October, and frankly Sarah being a generation older than you it wouldn't surprise me either. You see the world thru a very different prism than I. You have optimism and hope, I have my cynicism. As the great Ambrose Bierce once said : "A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be." After you have a couple of children, and have a mortgage, you may become more cynical, or perhaps not. I am hugely in favor of cynical though.

Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at September 29, 2004 02:36 AM

Regarding optimism & hope vs cynicism, let me quote another writer...Georges Bernanos, writing in 1940 about those who had refused to believe England could hold out against the Nazis:
No one knows better than I do that, in the course of centuries, all the great stories of the world end by becoming children's tales. But this particular one (the story of England's resistance--ed) has started its life as such, has become a children's tale on the very threshold of its existence. It mean that we can at once recognize in it the threefold visible sign of its nature. it has deceived the anticipations of the wise, it has humiliated the weak-hearted, it has staggered the fools. Last June all these folk from one end of the world to the other, no matter what the color of their skins, were shaking their heads. Never had they been so old, never had they been so proud of being old. All the figures that they had swallowed in the course of their miserable lives as a safeguard against the highly improbable activity of their emotions had choked the channels of circulation..They were ready to prove that with the Armistice of Rethondes the continuance of the war had become a mathematical impossibility...Some chuckled with satisfaction at the thought, but they were not the most dangerous...Others threatened us with the infection of pity..."Alone against the world," they said. "Why, what is that but a tale for children?" And that is precisely what it was--a tale for children. Hurrah for the children of England!

Men of England, at this very moment you are writing what public speakers like to describe in their jargon as one of the "greatest pages of history"....At this moment you English are writing one of the greatest pages of history, but I am quite sure that when you started, you meant it as a fairy tale for children. "Once upon a time there was a little island, and in that island there was a people in arms against the world..." Faced with such an opening as that, what old cunning fox of politics or business would not have shrugged his shoulders and closed the book?

Posted by: David Foster at September 29, 2004 04:58 AM

Nice one David, but since you went English on me allow me to throw back at you the words of another Englishman: George Bernard Shaw (my favorite essayist) "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." A rather nice summation if you ask me.

Posted by: Bubba Bo Bob Brain at September 29, 2004 06:48 AM

I think of realism and cynicism as two entirely different things. Also, I'd like to observe that many of those who are cynical about the motivations of the Bush administration in Iraq are entirely non-cynical (are, indeed, completely naive) about the motivations of the Chirac administration.

Posted by: David Foster at September 29, 2004 06:06 PM

woops, sorry I meant to put the link on this thread.

Very good news out of Iraq:

Posted by: dc at September 29, 2004 08:57 PM