Belloc’s definition of a philosopher as someone who gives advice to people who are happier than he is. (From Guy Rundle on crikey.com on 25-2-2019)
C Northcote Parkinson, inventor of Parkinson’s Law, noted a corollary: an issue will be discussed in inverse proportion to its importance. (as noticed by Guy Rundle for crikey.com of 14-2-2019))
Steal a man’s wallet and he will poor for a week.
Teach him music and how to buy instruments and he will be poor for his lifetime.
As Upton Sinclair famously said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
Today (4-2-2019) I read a brilliant line in an article on Brexit … “It was like trying to unlock a door with a slice of bread.”
But what I now want to know, is, did someone slave over this line for hours or did it come quickly? See a Washington Post article by Ian Dunt in the Outlook section, “The collective madness behind Britain’s latest Brexit plan.”
“You have the right to remain stupid.”
This is truly a stunningly good line. In Australia, I first saw it on a tall, affluent looking and probably well-educated 22-year-old lad, and have never seen it since in Australia? Why not? I once checked on the origin of this remark, it comes from a US male songwriter who lives somewhere in New England, whose name I don’t recall. His name is currently unavailable on the Net due to Trumpishness remaining stupid. (See, the line is true enough.)
The year is 2019, January. The remark about Democracy is…
“Democracy has lost the ability to make decisions.”
Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor, The Weekend Australian, . p.15, in an article on Brexit. Usually this blog holds Sheridan at arms length due to his right-wingerisms, but this time around I fear he is correct. World-wide, Democracy certainly seems to be in trouble.
Explaining … a friend sent me this hilarious take on modern life in early January 2019. I think it’s so good that it should land here. I’m sorry, I don’t know who wrote it, it comes from the USA, credits will appear if we do find out who first wrote it – Cheers, Dan Byrnes
The horror, the horror…
Jesse Newton is with Kelly McQueen Newton.
So, last week, something pretty tragic happened in our household. It’s taken me until now to wrap my head around it and find the words to describe the horror. It started off simple enough – something that’s probably happened to most of you.
Sometime between midnight and 1:30am, our puppy Evie pooped on our rug in the living room. This is the only time she’s done this, so it’s probably just because we forgot to let her out before we went to bed that night. Now, if you have a detective’s mind, you may be wondering how we know the poop occurred between midnight and 1:30am. We were asleep, so how do I know that time frame?
Why, friends, that’s because our Roomba runs at 1:30am every night, while we sleep. And it found the poop. And so begins the Pooptastrophe. The poohpocalypse. The pooppening.
If you have a Roomba, please rid yourself of all distractions and absorb everything I’m about to tell you.
Do not, under any circumstances, let your Roomba run over dog poop. If the unthinkable does happen, and your Roomba runs over dog poop, stop it immediately and do not let it continue the cleaning cycle. Because if that happens, it will spread the dog poop over every conceivable surface within its reach, resulting in a home that closely resembles a Jackson Pollock poop painting.
It will be on your floorboards. It will be on your furniture legs. It will be on your carpets. It will be on your rugs. It will be on your kids’ toy boxes. If it’s near the floor, it will have poop on it. Those awesome wheels, which have a checkered surface for better traction, left 25-foot poop trails all over the house. Our lovable Roomba, who gets a careful cleaning every night, looked like it had been mudding. Yes, mudding – like what you do with a Jeep on a pipeline road. But in poop.
Then, when your four-year-old gets up at 3am to crawl into your bed, you’ll wonder why he smells like dog poop. And you’ll walk into the living room. And you’ll wonder why the floor feels slightly gritty. And you’ll see a brown-encrusted, vaguely Roomba-shaped thing sitting in the middle of the floor with a glowing green light, like everything’s okay. Like it’s proud of itself. You were still half-asleep until this point, but now you wake up pretty damn quickly.
And then the horror. Oh the horror.
So, first you clean the child. You scrub the poop off his feet and put him back in bed. But you don’t bother cleaning your own feet, because you know what’s coming. It’s inevitable, and it’s coming at you like a freight train. Some folks would shrug their shoulders and get back in bed to deal with it in the morning. But you’re not one of those people – you can’t go to sleep with that war zone of poop in the living room.
So you clean the Roomba. You toss it in the bathtub to let it soak. You pull it apart, piece-by-piece, wondering at what point you became an adult and assumed responsibility for 3:30am-Roomba-disassembly-poop-cleanups. By this point, the poop isn’t just on your hands – it’s smeared up to your elbows. You already heard the Roomba make that “whirlllllllllllllllll-boop-hisssssssss” noise that sounds like electronics dying, and you realize you forgot to pull the battery before getting it wet. More on that later.
Oh, and you’re not just using profanity – you’re inventing new types of profanity. You’re saying things that would make Satan shudder in revulsion. You hope your kid stayed in bed, because if he hears you talking like this, there’s no way he’s not ending up in prison.
Then you get out the carpet shampooer. When you push it up to the rug – the rug that started it all – the shampooer just laughs at you. Because that rug is going in the trash, folks. But you shampoo it anyway, because your wife loved that damn rug, and you know she’ll ask if you tried to clean it first.
Then you get out the paper towel rolls, idly wondering if you should invest in paper towel stock, and you blow through three or four rolls wiping up poop. Then you get the spray bottle with bleach water and hose down the floor boards to let them soak, because the poop has already dried. Then out comes the steam mop, and you take care of those 25-ft poop trails.
And then, because it’s 6am, you go to bed. Let’s finish this tomorrow, right?
The next day, you finish taking the Roomba apart, scraping out all the tiny flecks of poop, and after watching a few Youtube instructional videos, you remove the motherboard to wash it with a toothbrush. Then you bake it in the oven to dry. You put it all back together, and of course it doesn’t work. Because you heard the “whirlllllllllllllll-boop-hissssssss” noise when it died its poopy death in the bathtub. But you hoped that maybe the Roomba gods would have mercy on you.
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. After spending a week researching how to fix this damn $400 Roomba without spending $400 again – including refurb units, new motherboards, and new batteries – you finally decide to call the place where you bought it. That place called Hammacher Schlemmer. They have a funny name, but they have an awesome warranty. They claim it’s for life, and it’s for any reason.
So I called them and told the truth. My Roomba found dog poop and almost precipitated World War III.
And you know what they did? They offered to replace it. Yes, folks. They are replacing the Roomba that ran over dog poop and then died a poopy, watery death in the bathtub – by no fault of their own, of course.
So, mad props to Hammacher Schlemmer. If you’re buying anything expensive, and they sell it, I recommend buying it from them. And remember – don’t let your Roomba run over dog poop.
I’d thought for years that the great line, “what’s been did and what’s been hid” had come from Bob Dylan’s early work/songs. But it seems that the line was getting about in left circles generally, most of all in 1960s New York. So now it seems that the line is generic, although I’m still sure that Bob Dylan used the line well.
About the US Federal Government … Since I’m a writer (ex-journalist, poet) there is about me a strong sense of an eternal search for a good line, a way of saying something … and a few samples from the USA would be good, so here goes … I do like the line from the US right wing (the home of small government, so it thinks) – because the line is good, and so quick – that …
“Government should be no bigger than anything you can drown in the bath.”
This is a wonderful line, I think, most of all for its rapidity, even though I disagree with it profoundly. And why do I disagree? Well, in this day and age, it’s mindless, brainless, irresponsible, and downright childish, to imagine that any Federal government of a large population wouldn’t for starters be expensive, large, complicated. So what do I think about Trump’s December 2018 threat to shut down the US Government if he doesn’t get the money to build his wall? All of the above; mindless, brainless, irresponsible and downright childish. But as a line, it’s brilliant, no?