Friday, September 2, 2011

Mr Cheney has a book out, and it is quite exciting enough

Scarce any thing awakens attention like a tale of cruelty. The writer of news never fails in the intermission of action to tell how the enemies murdered children and ravished virgins; and if the scene of action be somewhat distant, scalps half the inhabitants of a province.

Among the calamities of war may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages. A peace will equally leave the warrior and relator of wars destitute of employment; and I know not whether more is to be dreaded from streets filled with soldiers accustomed to plunder, or from garrets filled with scribblers accustomed to lie.

We do not disturb ourselves with the detection of fallacies which do us no harm, nor willingly decline a pleasing effect to investigate its cause. He that is happy, by whatever means, desires nothing but the continuance of happiness, and is no more solicitous to distribute his sensations into their proper species, than the common gazer on the beauties of spring to separate light into its individual rays.

An incongruous mode for a great memoir of state? Samuel Johnson, no idiot and no ingenue in neurological intervention, has written the only review worth contemplating of the volume in question. He understood and spelled out the astuteness of the demagoguery condensed within its pages, as the gift of pleasure to a client imploring its own debauchery. From soccer moms to credulous boys, from the intellectual Junkers at The New York Times and The New Yorker to the rabid degenerates of Fox, that regime was all but flawless in its manipulations. You watched, I watched, awestruck that they were getting away with it. And it is happening again. Mr Kerry, a student tapped for the elitest society at the University of Virginia once explained to me, "is just not exciting enough." 

My god. Just not exciting enough.

Samuel Johnson
Selected Writings
Patrick Cruttwell, editor
The Idler
 i, ii  11 November  1758
 iii     9 September 1758
Penguin, 1968©

No comments:

Post a Comment