Friends of Ormondroyd's Official Graffiti Wall and Commonplace Book

Less personal than a journal or diary, the "Commonplace Book" is a collection of random quotations, favorite authors, conversations, clippings, and bon mots. Add your own or comment on others', as you might scribble on a wall. Your entries need not serve as a Rorschach test; quotes can be silly or profound, heartfelt or just a momentary thought. Play nice. Additions will be woven into the main body, with initials to credit the contributor.

Thanks, Pat, Pamela, et al...

"What annoys me is that Spielberg is such an egomaniac these days that it has to be 'Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds. No, you pus-bag. It's H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, and it wouldn't kill you to put his fucking name on it." --Harlan Ellison

"The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
attributed to Samuel Johnson, later to Emerson.

On a bathroom wall: "My mother made me a lesbian."
Scrawled underneath: "If I get her the yarn, will she make me one too?"

Nelson Algren's Three Rules for Living:
One: Never eat in a restaurant called "Mom's".
Two: Never play cards with a man called "Doc".
Three: Don't sleep with anyone who has more problems than you do.

"The only thing in the world worth a damn is the strange, touching, pathetic, awesome nobility of the individual human spirit." -- John D. MacDonald (Travis McGee's credo for a knight-errant's banner)

My favorite epitaph, the one I hope to earn, inshallah, is Falstaff's:
"Nay, sure, he's not in hell: he's in Arthur's bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. "
(the usual saying is "he sleeps in Abraham's bosom'; great-souled Falstaff prefered King Arthur, and so do I.)

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
-- Groucho Marx (PR)

"In one hour of operation, the average gas mower emits the same amout of climate-changing hydrocarbons as a 1992 Ford Explorer driven over 23,000 miles."
-- Co-op America's Real Money, June/July 2002, adapted from The Organic Suburbanite by Warren Schultz, Rodale, 2001.(PR)

I don't need time. What I need is a deadline.
--Duke Ellington (PR)

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by
--Hanlon's Razor (PR)

"Pardon him, Theodotus. He is a barbarian, and thinks the customs of his tribe and island are the laws
of nature." - George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra

"Oh, Goddamnit, we forgot the silent prayer!" -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

(PJ) --Steve Benson, The Arizona Star

“[Tolstoy’s] opinions about syphilis … are not merely disreputable but they unmask an ignorant man who hasn’t taken the trouble in the course of his long life to read two or three books written by specialists.... Tolstoy calls doctors scoundrels and flaunts his ignorance of important matters because he is a second Diogenes whom no one will report to the police or denounce to the newspapers. So to hell with the philosophy of the great men of the world.... Reason and justice tell me that there is more love for mankind in electricity and steam than in chastity and abstinence from meat” --Chekhov (in letters)

Pity the Pusher, Prostitute and Politician

Let us play devil's advocate and defend politicians, though it cracks the enamel on our teeth to say so.
The nature of politics, managing the life of the "polis", means getting diverse people or groups to compromise their own self interests long enough to achieve some common goal, even something as simple as a sewage bond or school mill proposal.
… And you have to get all these yahoos moving in the same direction just to keep the lights on and the fire trucks gassed up... let us pity the poor politicians-- the honest ones, at least, who try, like Confucius, to construct a society with imperfect materials...
…And now, as if the basic task weren't impossible enough, you have to hold on to your job by kissing the ass and smiling at people you ordinarily despise. We are forced to concede that this is a truly noble form of ass-kissing; could any of us schmooze some jerk and promise some selfish prick a hand-job just to get a children's hospital built?
…And you have to learn to use television to stay in office, even though you hate it...
…And you hate having to reduce complex issues to sound bites for morons...
…And it doesn't matter how good and honest and true statesman you are, it doesn't matter how smart or how competent you are because you're going to be beaten by some sentient colon polyp who’s been trained in television and isn't good at anything except winning primaries... and in a world built by advertising, this skillful insincerity is admired rather than condemned…
… And you have to beg, borrow or steal the money to buy the television time, giving away a little to get a little while trying to remember your original goals...and instead of talking about vital issues, they want you to wear a flannel shirt to reassure both women voters and the NRA.
… And why do you agree to this nonsense?
… Because the American polis has trained our politicians to jump through these hoops to make us happy because we don’t give a shit about issues or civic virtrue or reality instead of lies
… Because we’re the ones who eat up the shit that comes out of their mouths like it was ice cream...
…And change the channel to watch a fucking ball game... Entire networks are devoted as described by Sir Joseph Tewkesbury, to “the playing of games with balls of various sizes”, as if we had become a nation of sedentary dogs content to watch others chase the ball, chase the ball, chase the ball, chase the ball…
… We have made the American politicians what they are.
We want them to lie to us because we're spoiled children demanding sugar instead of real food, we don't care if it rots our teeth and gives us diabetes and deficits.
… And then we have the goddamn nerve to complain about the candidates we get. News Flash: you wouldn't vote for Abraham Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt if they had to run on a modern television campaign.
The rubes need to look in the mirror, STFU, and stop blaming the employees for being stupid. Do our politicians behave badly? Of course they do, and whose fault is that? Are prostitutes to blame for the moralist's lust, or the pusher man for the customers' intoxication?

We shape them. We hire them. …And …

"Necon Bloging" Defined as a Mental Disorder

from the DSM-IV
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Latent repressed homosexuality and gynophobia, with racism virus outbreaks under stress. Hatred of the poor, hatred of self, hated of injured or damaged people described as "victims", self-hatred, and hatred of those sympathetic or supportive of "victims".
To meet the criteria for this disease, persons must exhibit three or more of the following:
1) The use of the word "pussy" as an epithet, meaning somehow unmanly. It is striking that these sufferers would try to insult others by identifying them with a part of the female anatomy that average adults have always been rather fond of.
2)The use of "faggot" in the list of political insults. It is remarkable that people suffering from this syndrome use references to homosexuality as the sine qua non of insults, the worst thing you can call another man-- worse, apparently, than drug abuse, perjury, stealing old ladies' pensions, taking bribes, ignorance, indifference, slander and libel, race-baiting, contempt of congress, consorting with the enemy, poisoning the soil and water, hypocrisy, draft-dodging, gun crimes, weapons-trading, neglect, cocaine and alcohol abuse, religious intolerance, etc., et alia.
Neocon Blog Babblers are fascinated by other men's penises, and what they might be doing with those penises. A state referendum was passed in Michigan to deny employee benefits to men who play with other men's penises, whereas most heterosexual males rarely think about other men's penises, with the exception of urologists, artists, and tailors. Phallocentric courtesies such as "How they hanging?" or "Do you dress to the left or the right, sir?" are lost on them.
3)These sufferers will sometimes combine their fear and revulsion regarding women and male homosexuals. The resulting complex of emotions will confuse the sufferer until he has no recourse but to resort to epithets like "liberal".
4)Up until the 1980's, the political term "liberal" was not considered derogatory, outside of certain right-wing fringe groups. It was the sinister but sunny actor, lifeguard and General Electric spokesmodel Ronald Reagan, showing signs of Alzeheimer's while still in office, that made it socially acceptable to denigrate someone for being "liberal", i.e., tolerant of divergent beliefs.
Ironically, the "laissez faire" or "live and let live" attitude of liberalism was applied by followers of Reagan to the economy and business practices. The hypocrisy inherent in a "free market" full of sweetheart deals went unnoticed.
5) Sufferers show an inability to step outside of this complex of assumptions and prejudices long enough to vote for the long-term good of their country. They defend against self-knowledge of this contradiction by loudly proclaiming their patriotism and questioning the patriotism of dissenters.
6) Cognitive dissonance, a gap between what is said and what is done, to a remarkable degree. A candidate need not increase funding for schools to hire more qualified math and science instructors, so long as he SAYS he wants "No Child Left Behind." A candidate need not actually defend our shores, so long as he owns guns and is PERCEIVED to be "tough". Wouldn't it be great if all those business majors and politicians' kids were given the same chance to defend their country that the kids in Flint and East St. Louis were given? We would pay real money to see Tucker Carlson scrambling for cover. (How did he become a television pundit? Was it something like Brett Summers being declared a "celebrity" on the Match Game?)
Lastly (for now) we must face the clinical difficulties in trying to reason patients afflicted with neocon virus. Like alcoholics and other addicts, they are not grateful to those who might point out their flaws. Instead we see a classic pattern of denial, anger, projection, even outbreaks of self-righteous violence. They even resent those who might have more facts at hand as "pointy-headed", "snooty", "elite", etc.
The decision to close their minds seems to occur at an early age-- inheriting the resentment of the parents, being snubbed by liberal girls at a dance, the belief that someone wants to spoil their fun with guns, etc. Since their ideas cannot hold their own in a marketplace of ideas without first discrediting the opposition, they band together with people who already agree with their world view. The campaign of disinformation that brought them to this position of power would make the old Comintern blush.
It saddens us when once respectable conservatives hitch their wagon to the neocon star; like Colorado Avalanche fans, these conservatives are so desperate to be winners, they tolerate the neocons' thuggery as a necessary evil. We simply don't know if this obtuseness, i.e. willful ignorance, is genetic or environmental. The future is dark, though lit by many eager fools. There is no known cure, but is there Hope?