There are some people with a vested interest in keeping the world as it is, because that’s the world they have power over. – Alan Moore

It’s [publishing] not a rational industry either. Things get optioned but not made for reasons that absolutely defy logic and reason. It's like high school cliques crossed with offshore bankers: Who's in, who's out, what's cool, what's not, and the unbearable agony of not wanting to make a mistake, all overlaid with lots of money ...that's the movie industry. –Miss Snark

"Pat Buchanan is not an anti-Semite-- as a matter of fact, his grandfather died in a Nazi concentration camp.
-- Well, he fell out of the guard tower...." --old joke, origin unknown

... if we are going to begin engaging in whisper campaigns against writers, thinkers, policy intellectuals, administration officials, Hill staff, and others because of who they are married to or where they were born or other irrelevant, private factors -- rather than make an empirical assessment of their work and thinking -- then we are in real trouble. – Steve Clemons, The Washington Note

"The thing about American intellectuals that so surprises me is the way they always take the entire menu. They endorse the foreign policy so they feel obliged to endorse the attacks against the private life of Bill Clinton, the defense of the death penalty, the sale of firearms, and so on. I had this conversation with Bill Kristol. When I met him I saw the most recent issue of the Weekly Standard in the waiting room and there was a truly disgusting article in there about Clinton and his girlfriends. And I asked Kristol why, of course. Bill Kristol doesn't care about the sexual life of Bill Clinton. But my sense was that he felt that his endorsement of the war in Iraq also obliged him to endorse the attacks on Clinton. This I don't understand. And maybe I'm wrong, maybe Kristol really, deeply thinks that Clinton is a bastard, and that a blow job is a crime. Maybe. But I don't think so. There's this idea that the world is black and white, and if you go with black then everything has to be black — very strange, in a country that is supposed to be so pragmatic. ... American intellectuals have this strange need to ally themselves with a single side. I believe that it is the duty of intellectuals to allow and make room for complexity, to ally with no one, and to move freely across all borders, political or otherwise." – Bernard-Henri Levy

"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of leaders. Tell them they are being attacked and denounce pacifists for lack of patriotism and endangering the country. It works every time." - Hermann Goering

"Originally, editors at the paper [Jyllands-Posten. Denmark] asked 12 artists to draw depictions of the prophet after an author complained that no artist was willing, under his own name, to illustrate a book about Mohammed. A controversy then broke out between Danish Muslims and the paper which appeared settled after the paper apologized for causing offense, but defended its right to publish the material. The current crisis started, however, when European papers began reprinting the cartoons in a display of press freedom." -- from Bag News Notes, with links to the other cartoons here.

"You could never have a film called "A Canadian in Paris". Americans have this complete conviction, no matter where they go, they're still American. And they can be any kind of character they want: a shy American; a strong, ruthless American; a literary American; and athletic American. But most countries have a very strong national identity. You see it in Brazil, in people's minds abroad, and in Brazil's own mind. everyone will accept a story about favela violence, and possibly a story set in Carnaval, but they relate to what they know about the place. And that's terribly damaging to Brazilian's imaginations, because they actually find it difficult to tell stories that aren't about futbol, samba, favela violence, Amazonian Indians, the rain forest....It's exactly the same thing in Cambodia, too." --Geoff Ryman in Locus magazine

"As for anyone who doesn't believe in evolution, ask them how they got there-- because they probably came in a car, driven on gasoline, which comes from oil. I was an oil geologist, and I know they couldn't have found that oil without using stratigraphy, which is based on index fossils, which require evolution. So they shouldn't drive cars if they don't belive in evolution, right? If God created everything at once, then God was lying."-- Dave Duncan in Locus magazine

"The U.S. is the planet's sole remaining superpower, unrivaled in military might and reach, and yet our leaders have us leaping at every mouse ...a muscle-bound, world straddling fraidy cat."-- James Wolcott


"Never ascribe to malice what could also be ascribed to stupidity."-- Unknown

See also: Commonplace Book:January, Commonplace Book: December

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