Sunday, July 17, 2005

Mark Twain Superstar

In responding to a post at Call Me Snake I needed to look up a quote by humorist Mark Twain. While reading through the muliple collections of his writings on the web it occured to me that many of his observations about the society of his time, are just as applicaple to the events and people of today. So let’s see what Mark Twain would have said about:

The lead up to the war in Iraq:

...when we badly want a thing, we go to hunting for good and righteous reasons for it; we give it that fine name to comfort our consciences, whereas we privately know we are only hunting for plausible ones.

The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might.

Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. - Mark Twain

Rush Limbaugh

The thug is aware that loudness convinces sixty persons where reasoning convinces but one.- Mark Twain

The War in Iraq:

To be a patriot, one had to say, and keep on saying, " Our country, right or wrong," and urge on the little war. Have you not perceived that that phrase is an insult to the nation.

It is easier to stay out than get out.

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.

I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. - Mark Twain

The Mainstream Media:

...the liberty of the Press is called the Palladium of Freedom, which means, in these days, the liberty of being deceived, swindled, and humbugged by the Press and paying hugely for the deception -Mark Twian.

Tom Cruise

Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion. - Mark Twain

Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't. - Mark Twain

The Religious Right

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: "Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor's religion is." Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code. - Mark Twain

President Bush’s Campaign To Privatize Social Security

The more you explain it, the more I don't understand it. - Mark Twain

The Presidency of George W. Bush

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals.

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.

When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.

No matter how healthy a man's morals may be when he enters the White House, he comes out again with a pot-marked soul. - Mark Twain

Karl Rove Exposing Valerie Plame

Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let me label you as they may. - Mark Twain

Why a humorist's observaitons about America over a hundred years ago are still valid today

It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible. - Mark Twain


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Doc -- You're right, Mark Twain still makes more sense just about anyone around. We're Twain with us today, he would make one helluva of a blogger--assuming he chose to waste his time that way--second only to Andrew Sullivan. And thanks for saying the "lead up" to the war in Iraq rather than "run-up," a term that bugs me to no end.
Snake | Homepage | 07.18.05 - 4:31 pm | #

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a funny parallel. I am sure his observations can go on forever with parallels to today.
T.L.Barker | Homepage | 07.19.05 - 6:41 am | #

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Equally frightening and enlightening, isn't it? The first time I read the "grown-up" Twain literature, I was in my teens, and it's the first time I fully grasped the concepts of personal, public, and political hypocrisy. He was a master teacher.
Grace Nearing | Homepage | 07.20.05 - 2:46 am | #

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Grace, thanks for the comment and the link. Twain was pretty smart to know what would be going on in his beloved country 95 years after his death.
DrMax | Homepage | 07.20.05 - 5:59 am | #

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's saying what we should all be thinking.
Sylvana | Homepage | 07.20.05 - 1:54 pm | #

1:17 AM  
Blogger DrMax said...

Hey T.L. sorry. I like to greet new visitors and spaced. Welcome and thanks for the comments.
DrMax | Homepage | 07.20.05 - 2:19 pm | #

1:18 AM  
Blogger DrMax said...

For anyone wondering why these comments look so strange, it's a long story, details in this post. Here are the missing links to the everyone's sites:

Call Me Snake

T.L. Barker-Anger Mismanagement

Grace Nearing-Scriptoids



Thanks to Grace and Fallenmonk for linking to this page on their blogs.

2:08 AM  

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