Saturday, 20 July 2019

Truth and lies

A lie may fool someone else but it tells you the truth, you're weak.

Tom Wolfe

Metternich told lies all the time, and never deceived any one; Talleyrand never told a lie and deceived the whole world.

Lord Macaulay

Fame is the sum of all the misunderstandings that grow up around a name.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Semites [he is referring to Arabs] had no half-tones in their register of vision. They were a

people of primary colours, or rather of black and white, who saw the world always in contour. They were a dogmatic people, despising doubt, our modern crown of thorns.
They did not understand our metaphysical difficulties, our introspective questionings. They knew only truth and untruth, belief and unbelief, without our hesitating retinue of finder shades. . . Their thoughts were at ease only in extremes. They inhabited superlatives by choice.

Sometimes inconsistents seemed to possess them at once in joint sway; but they never compromised: they pursued the logic of several incompatible opinions to absurd ends, without perceiving the incongruity. With cool head and tranquil judgement, imperturbably unconscious of the flight, they oscillated from asymptote to asymptote."

T.E Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Chapter 3

I find that women are often especially charitable and receptive if one visits them at the hairdresser, perhaps because they like being able to show off some captive member of the male sex to so many other women when the latter are not so fortunate as to have their male retainers by them.

Jake in Iris Murdoch's novel, 'Under the Net'. 
I adored my first Iris Murdoch 'A Word Child' and looked forward to enjoying all the rest but did not enjoy 'Under the Net' or any of the others that I read.

The following tweet comes from a very talented US author:

‘The irony that in T***p Dark Age with its public expressions of hatred, bigotry, and cruelty literary publishers hire “sensitivity readers” to peruse upcoming books for “insensitivity.”’
That’s Joyce Carol Oates. A great writer. A great writer who does not know the meaning of the word irony. It is not an irony that this has happened in the age of the man whose name you cannot bring yourself to write. It is because of this totalitarian impulse on the part of the media, publishers, journos, academia and so on that T***p is your president. Because people less gilded and talented than you, Joyce, are sick to the back teeth of this egregious illiberal shite, this closing down of debate, this hair trigger sensitivity. Wake up, Joyce.

Rod Liddle yesterday in the Spectator blog


  1. I thought of those who today oppose illegal immigration. They are often accused of small and parochial motivations. But I believe at the heart of their opposition is a delicate understanding that when the rule of law collapses, as it does daily on the southern border, everything else can collapse. Many things are more delicate than we think, and those most inclined to see that delicacy are most dependent on responsible leaders who will keep the laws of the nation strong and operable.

    Peggy Noonan

  2. "Because people... are sick to the back teeth of this egregious illiberal shite, this closing down of debate, this hair trigger sensitivity."

    But the truth is that, as hateful as he is to his enemies, Trump represents something entirely different to his fans. He represents freedom.

    Mainstream media talks a lot about Trump ‘doubling down’. It has done so in relation to the latest tweets scandal. Doubling down horrifies pundits. He says something that they find offensive, they scream and whine and distort the meaning of what was said, they use their magic attack words like ‘racist’, ‘white nationalist’ and ‘xenophobia’. They demand an apology, the backtrack.

    But Trump doesn’t give them that. He denies the thrill of the fanatic, which is to see the chastised submit. Instead, he repeats himself. He points out that some countries are indeed sh**holes. He points out that anyone who hates the country they reside in has the option of leaving. He ‘doubles down’, which is essentially media code for ‘he horrifies us by not submitting to us’. In this way he becomes a symbol of good for everyone who does not believe that he is a symbol of evil.

    Trump’s greatest crime, and his greatest triumph, is to become a living example that you do not have to submit. You do not have to apologise. You do not have to back down, or grovel, or confess. You are free unless you accept your chains. What message is more hopeful or American than that?

    ‘Doubling down’ is Donald Trump’s greatest triumph
    Spectator USA by Daniel Jupp