Friday, June 22, 2007

Insult. Insurance Salesmen. Intellectuals. Intelligence. Interaction.

I have a high opinion of all that you are capable of knowing.
Insult 97 Mr. Collins to Elizabeth: I have the highest opinion in the world of your excellent judgment in all matters within the scope of your understanding.... Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Your presences is a stain on the air.
Insult 109 Theseus: And now…your presence stains the air. Euripides, Hippolytus.

He is the epitome of cowardice.
Insult 430 …he’s the epitome of all the cowardice in the world walking on two legs. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

The weapon of the cleric is the same as that of a woman—the tongue.
Insult 753 Don Quixote to the Ecclesiastic: …I know, as all know, that the weapon of gownsmen is the same as that of women, namely, the tongue…. Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote of La Mancha. Part Two: 1615.

A string of negative nouns topped by a charge of “ungrammatical.”
Insult 725 ‘If you can wade through a few sentences of malice, meanness, falsehood, perjury, treachery, and cant,’ said Slurk, ‘…you will perhaps, be somewhat repaid by a laugh at the style of this ungrammatical twaddler.’ Dickens, Pickwick.

You must be a bastard because your mother's father was an honorable man.
Insults 136 Meeting a Lancaster lawyer who had double-crossed him, he [Thaddeus Stevens] stood still, leaned on his cane and slowly clipped his words: ‘You must be a bastard, for
I knew your mother’s husband and he was a gentleman and an honest man.’ Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

He wouldn’t steal a red-hot stove; I take that back.
Insults 138 Early he [Thaddeus Stevens] had gone to warn Lincoln that Cameron had taking ways and might not be the man for War Department head… ‘You don’t mean to say you think Cameron would steal?’ Lincoln asked… ‘No’ was the reply, ‘I don’t think he would steal a red-hot stove’…[and, after Lincoln told this to Cameron, Stevens told Lincoln]: ‘Well he, [Cameron] is very mad and made me promise to retract…I believe I told you he would not steal a red-hot stove…I now take that back.’ Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Lincoln was a baboon and a clown.
Insults 293 Atlanta Intelligencer: Lincoln was ‘the Baboon President, a low-bred obscene clown….’ Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

He’s such an ass that he should stay as President.
Insults 542 Various anti-Lincoln journals reprinted a long editorial from the Richmond Dispatch, not entirely courteous: We say of Old Abe it would be impossible to find such another ass in the United States, and therefore we say let him stay [as president]. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Better looking since he had the small pox.
Insults 608 New York Herald on Lincoln: Mr. Lincoln stands six feet twelve in his socks, which he changes once every ten days…anatomy is composed mostly of bones…complexion that of a Saratoga trunk…brushed his hair sometimes and is said to wash…swears fluently…strict temperance man himself…does not object to another man’s being pretty drunk, especially when he is about to make a bargain with him…fond of fried liver and onions…can hardly be called handsome, though he is certainly much better looking since he had the small-pox. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

A politician who struts even when sitting down.
Insults 746 Butler…a politician who could strut sitting down. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years.

Insurance Salesman
Insurance salesmen are annoying because they remind you that you will die.
Insurance salesman 237 The general unpopularity of the insurance solicitor is not hard to understand…insofar as he tells the truth about the uses of life insurance, he presses a moral duty on his customer and so annoys him acutely…reminds his customer of death and so annoys him again. Mencken, Minority Report.

Role for intellectuals: unremitting hostility to power.
Intellectuals 682 John Taylor’s principle: …one role for intellectuals was that of unremitting hostility to power. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Intellectuals are characterized by self-doubt.
Intellectuals 140 Even the most gifted and prolific [intellectuals] seem to live a life of eternal self-doubting.... Hoffer, The True Believer

From the supremacy of intellectual life to the soul-wasting struggle with worldly annoyances.
Intellectuals 701 Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life—the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it—can understand the grief of one who falls from that serene activity into the absorbing soul-wasting struggle with worldly annoyances. George Eliot, Middlemarch.

Intellectuals believe in knowledge for its own sake, while I believe in its application.
Intellectuals 198 They were the true intellectuals, not I, for they believed in knowledge for its own sake, while for me it had no meaning beyond its application…. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

Intellectuals believe that any public problem can be remedied.
Intellectuals [Liberals?] 28 They [the intellectuals] believed as a cardinal article of faith that there was a remedy at hand for every conceivable public ill…. Mencken, Minority Report.

The test of intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still function.
Intelligence 18 …the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. F. Scott Fitzgerald on

The ability to foresee with the mind makes one superior to those who work only with the body.
Intelligence 82 For he who can foresee with his mind is by nature intended to be lord and master; and he who can work only with his body is by nature a slave. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

The more noise one can bear without being disturbed by it is a sure sign of low intelligence.
Intelligence 304 Schopenhauer: I have long held the opinion that the amount of noise which anyone can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity, and may therefore be regarded as a pretty fair measure of it. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

Brilliant minds are admired, but never loved.
Intelligence 314 Schopenhauer : Brilliant qualities of mind win admiration, but never affection. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Schopenhauer.

Intelligence began with skepticism.
Intelligence 67 It was not until skepticism arose in the world that genuine intelligence dawned. Mencken, Minority Report.

His smile conveyed that this story had been often repeated.
Interaction 426 I thought by the polite absent-minded smile on Mrs. Todd's face this was no new story. Jewett, The country of the Pointed Firs.

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