Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quick Round Up

FLG received an email about this event, and immediately thought of Phoebe.

Despite protestations to the contrary, FLG doesn't think society is under any pressing need to determine if we will permit robot-human relationships right now. He always, and probably unfairly, dismisses these calls for contemplating robot and machine rights and whatever as the half-crazed and possibly marijuana-induced ravings of SciFi junkies. We'll probably need to confront the issue at some point, but we've got a long way to go. One thing that does concern FLG is that it seems the Japanese are at the vanguard of integrating robots and technology into their romantic life. God forbid that wacked out culture sets some sort of precedent for the rest of the world.

Does anybody else think √Čric Besson referencing Miller's Crossing is odd?

Goldman Sachs asks for forgiveness for its role in the financial crisis and commits funds to small business.

FLG demands that everybody, including the Danes, pronounce the capital of Denmark -- Co-pen-HAH-gen. Not, Heaven forfend, Co-pen-HEY-gen.

"establishing a purpose and an agenda for the twenty-first century [has supposedly been] the way forward for [NATO]" for nigh two decades and yet we've seen bupkis. Can we please just put the fucking anachronistic organization out of its misery?

Completely agree with everything Scott H. Payne writes about Alice in Chains here.

11 comments:

The Ancient said...

FLG demands that everybody, including the Danes, pronounce the capital of Denmark -- Co-pen-HAH-gen. Not, Heaven forfend, Co-pen-HEY-gen.

1) Where are you on Beijing Duck?

2) Winston Churchill, the last Western leader to personally kill a radical Islamist (The Battle of Omdurman, 2 September 1898), said "The wogs begin at Calais." He made a point of pronouncing it "callous."

Anonymous said...

"1) Where are you on Beijing Duck?"

That is about the funniest quip I've read in a while. Thanks.

Mrs. P

Andrew Stevens said...

George Wigg, Labour MP, attributed that sentiment to Churchill in 1949; Churchill did not say it himself. See this link.

In a debate about Burma, Wigg said, "The hon. Gentleman and his Friends think they are all 'wogs.' Indeed, the right hon. Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) thinks that the 'wogs' start at Calais."

The Ancient said...

AS --

You've proven someone else said it, too, and put it Churchill's mouth. But have you seen it elsewhere described as apocryphal?

(I shall consult my library this weekend.)

P.S. Please, please, please don't tell me the Atlee urinal story is made up. That would be unbearable.

Anonymous said...

FLG, off topic - but can you or your readers shed some light on this one?

"(AP) - President Barack Obama predicted that professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be convicted, as Attorney General Eric Holder defended putting him through the U.S. civilian legal system.

"In one of a series of TV interviews during his trip to Asia, Obama said those offended by the legal privileges given to Muhammed by virtue of getting a civilian trial rather than a military tribunal won't find it ""offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him.""


President Obama's statements sound as if there he -in this case- has no presumption of innocence. I mean, are we to understand that though Obama and his AT have granted a terrorist a civilian trial in the US legal system, they ARE NOT granting him the presumption of innocence until proven guilty?

The President was once a constitutional lawyer so he cannot claim any ignorance whatsoever. I can and do as I went to finishing school and made matters much worse by then going on to art school.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you know. The very next blog I visited after yours had this.

http://bovinabloviator.blogspot.com/2009/11/waiting-for-outrage.html

Interesting...


Mrs. P

Andrew Stevens said...

I have only ever heard it attributed to George Wigg. As you say, there's a question of whether or not Wigg was actually quoting Churchill, but until you mentioned it, I had never heard anybody suggest that he was. The phrase is normally attributed to Wigg, not to Churchill, at least as far as I'm aware of, though you obviously have a source of some sort. (I don't believe you're merely misremembering due to the specifics of how he is supposed to have pronounced it, which never come up with the Wigg story proper.)

The Atlee urinal story is definitely apocryphal, but not necessarily made up. There are so many apocryphal stories about Churchill that one suspects he might have made them up himself.

The Ancient said...

AS --

Why do you say "definitely apocryphal"? (I have heard it told by two different people who worked for Churchill during Atlee Government or later -- including once during a very grand talk at Harvard some decades ago.)

I see that the Wigg attribution is all over the web, largely in copycat postings dating from the past four years. (Not the fact that he said it, which you demonstrated, but the assertion that it was he rather than Churchill who said it first.) Do you have a book reference that marks the Atlee story -- which I have never seen in print -- as "definitely apocryphal"?

Anyway, I shall consult the books when I have the opportunity.

P.S. The internet versions of the punch line are all slightly off. "It is not modesty, Clement, merely prudence. Whenever you socialists see something large and fully functional, your first instinct is to nationalize it."

Andrew Stevens said...

Richard Langworth in Churchill by Himself: The Life, Times and Opinions of Churchill in His Own Words on p. 580 in Appendix I: Red Herrings says "Recorded by Manchester and others, but not attributed. Verdict: Apocryphal Churchill." The Manchester he is referring to is, of course, William Manchester.

As I said before, I have never heard the "wogs" quote attributed to Churchill before. It's hard to imagine Churchill saying it. Even in 1945, advertising oneself as a xenophobic racist was not good politics. But it was excellent politics to portray one's opponents as xenophobic racists. Langworth, who has a whole section devoted to debunking Churchill attributions in the book, didn't have anything on the quote at all that I could find.

The Ancient said...

Even in 1945, advertising oneself as a xenophobic racist was not good politics.

Enoch Powell ended his career twenty years later with a speech that his opponents rushed to characterize as just that.

(People who don't know it can read it here.)

Powell didn't realize quite how much the world had changed under his feet.

Andrew Stevens said...

Powell isn't Trent Lott. He wasn't making what he believed to be a perfectly ordinary speech and was taken aback by how it was taken. Powell had every intention of making a stir with that speech. He says, for example, "I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?" Now, of course, he wasn't expecting the exact reaction he got because he thought he'd have more supporters in Middle England than it turned out he had, but he was expecting a fierce reaction.

I'd also be more willing to defend Powell on charges of racism than I would someone who said, "The wogs begin at Calais." For example, Powell says in his speech, "Now, at all times, where there are marked physical differences, especially of colour, integration is difficult though, over a period, not impossible. There are among the Commonwealth immigrants who have come to live here in the last fifteen years or so, many thousands whose wish and purpose is to be integrated and whose every thought and endeavour is bent in that direction." Powell is sensitive to being called a racist and tried to evade the charge (unsuccessfully).

I do concede that Churchill could have made the remark privately, though, which I wasn't clear enough about in my post above. Not publicly as he was much too conscious of Britain's role in the world and the makeup of its Empire.

 
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