Tuesday, November 24, 2009

If Men Were Angels

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary." -- James Madison

In other words, we deserve what we get.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Survival of a Hundred Defeats

Hot salt tears burned my cheeks as I read the following:

"If the world becomes pagan and perishes, the last man left alive would do well to quote the Iliad and die.

But in this one great human revelation of antiquity there is another element of great historical importance; which has hardly

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Royal Puns

My young daughter Hope and I were writing messages to each other in picture writing earlier today. She would draw an eye (meaning "I") then put an "m" (meaning "am") then draw a hat (meaning "at") etc. It was great fun making the messages and trying to figure them out. We shared a great laugh, not so much over the messages as over our ability to make and to decode them. So I was rather intrigued when in my evening reading I came across the following wisdom on the origins of written language.

GK Chesterton, writing about the invention of writing by the folk living on the banks of the Nile:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scissors, Pants and Glasses

I've noticed that some funny words only exist in English in the plural. We can hold a pair of scissors, but there is no such thing as a single scissor. And we put on our pants, one leg at a time, but still that one leg is in our pants, not our pant.

Of course, there can be scissor marks on a piece of paper,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Weight of an Apple

David Bazan is making a production of losing his faith. Never mind that he is one of the great poets of our time; never mind that he is a groovy musician; never mind that he is a college party philosopher. Never mind that I suspect he gets drunk at breakfast. His questions are serious, and I think they are valid.

This is the man who sang a couple years ago:

"i could buy you a drink
i could tell you all about it
i could tell you why i doubt it
and why i still believe"