Thought for the day – on political unintended consequences

‘It was, after all, Greeks who pioneered the writing of history as what it has so largely remained, an exercise in political ironics—an intelligible story of how men’s actions produce results other than those they intended.’ – J G A Pocock

Pocock was a New Zealander. Not born here, but brought up here and the first ever head of the Canterbury University political science department.

I don’t normally link to Wikipedia, but just this once: there’s more on him here.

I came across this line in a book on the Kennedys, but it seems apt right now. Sadly and worryingly apt.

Thought for the Day – from good ol’ Hunter S.

‘The main problem in any democracy is that crowd-pleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy—then go back to the office & sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece.’

– Hunter S Thompson.

It begins

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There is always something stark, and clean-slate-ish, about that straight 1 on the first of January of any year.

Uncluttered, and full of promise. Or, I suppose, if you are going through a rough patch, full of threat or dread.

It’s generally a time of taking stock, this time of year. That downward slash of the 1 on the first of January can be rough.

It’s worth remembering, I think, that things are seldom as bad, or as good, as they  appear.

And that however good, or bad, things may seem, the old saying of ‘This, too, shall pass’, is always a useful corrective.

Thought for the day – Wodehouse on Fate, etc

‘I’m not absolutely certain of the facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare who says that it’s always just when a fellow is feeling particularly braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with the bit of lead piping.’

– P G Wodehouse

Thought for the day – Mencken on books 

‘There are people who read too much: the bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.’
H L Mencken.

To which I can only say, ‘Cheers’. Though I’d query the “too much”.

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