Thursday, July 21, 2011

His position on Whiskey

In 1952, Armon M. Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey. What follows is his exact answer (taken from the Political Archives of Texas):

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle."

Found this excellent and eloquent piece from a link shared on Twitter.

What is YOUR position on Whiskey?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

About Hyperion

I stumbled upon this series called Hyperion Cantos. Some of the ideas the books present are really interesting. The first two books (Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion) from the series have been revered in the Science Fiction community. To get to know more about this book, backed by the fact that I haven't yet read much of science fiction, I posted this question on reddit:

Are there things that I should know / read up before I pick up Hyperion?

On of the reddit users named slightlyKiwi gave a very interesting answer:

You really don't need to read the Keats. Or indeed know anything about sci-fi in general.
However, for maximum enjoyment it can help to know one or two things:
  • In the first book, each of the Pilgrim's tells their own Tale. This is modelled, loosely, on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. You don't need to know this.
  • Each of the Pilgrims is from a different era of the Hegemony's history(ish), and, to mirror this each of their tales is told in a different style from the history of science fiction. Brawne Lamia's, for instance, in very Gibson cyberpunk, while Colonel Kassad's owes much to classic space opera. Again, you don't need to know this.
  • Judaism, Islam, and Christianity have a common story in their holy books wherein Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his only son. Abraham accepts, and God spares this life of the child at the last moment. This concept is found throughout the books. You don't need to know this.
  • There are lots of references to the Wizard of Oz. You don't need to know this.
  • In real life, a 'shrike' is a type of bird that kills more than it eats, and hangs the spare corpses on the thorns of a tree. You don't need to know this.
TLDR: There's lots to know, but you don't need to know any of it. The book fills in most of the blanks admirably.


Now to just work my way out through A Song of Ice and Fire...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lane of Memories :: Need is a Want

Mandrake smashes his glass on the wall.

All your time is not your own
It's real hard to find out why
It's real hard to say good-bye
To move on down the line...

"Your memory is all that I have." He slurs. "Your memory is what I cherish, Your voice is the only melody, Your images I treasure so much."

Both your eyes wide open
You see the shape I'm in
It wasn't of my choosing
It's only bones and skin
And I will plead no contest
If loving you's a crime
So go on and find me guilty
Just one more fucking time

He pours another glass in the wee hours of the morning. Takes a sip. Stumbles across to the wall.

All your life is in your head
All you dreams are in your sleep
And if your dreams are hid too deep
They're just a waste of time
When you try to chase the dream
You never seem to know the time
You never recognize the signs
And nothing's what it seems

Smashes the glass again. Screams in Pain.

"Memory, Voice, Images." He pauses, waits for his tears to douse some of the anger.

All life is a mystery,
All things pass you by in time
All things just a perfect crime
It's just the way we are
All instincts let you down
It's not a case of love in vain
It's not a case of love insane
It's enough to break your heart

"I don't want you to be like her. I want her."

And so all our years together
Weren't worth a fucking dime
So go on and find me guilty
Just one more fucking time


The song playing in the background is 'One More Fucking Time' by Motorhead.

Earlier: Lane of Memories :: Follow you into the Dark

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dangling Participle

A consonant walks into a bar and sits down next to a vowelly girl.

"Hi!" he says. "I'll alphabet that you've never been here before."

"Of cursive I have," she replies. "I come here, like, all the time. For me, it's parse for the course."

The consonant remains stationery, enveloped by the vowelly girl's letter-perfect charm.

"Here's a cute joke" he states declaratively. "Up at the North Pole, St. Nicholas is the main Claus. His wife is a relative Claus. His children are dependent Clauses. Their Dutch uncle is a restrictive Claus. And Santa's elves are subordinate Clauses. As a group, they're all renoun Clauses."

Then he lays on some more dashes of humor: "Have you heard about the fellow who had half his digestive tract removed? He walked around with a semi-colon."

"Are you like prepositioning me?" asks the vowelly girl.

"I won't be indirect. You are the object of my preposition. Your beauty phrase my nerves. Won't you come up to my place for a coordinating conjunction?"

"I don't want to be diacritical of you, but you're like, such a boldfaced character!" replies the vowelly girl. "Like do I have to spell it out to you, or are you just plain comma-tose? You're not my type, so get off my case!"

Despite his past perfect, he is, at present, tense.

"Puhleeze, gag me with a spoonerism!" she objects. "As my Grammar and other correlatives used to say, your mind is in the guttural. I resent your umlautish behavior. You should know what the wages of syntax are. I nominative absolutely decline to conjugate with you fer sure!"

"You get high quotation marks for that one," he smiles, "even if I think you're being rather subjunctive and moody about all this. I so admire your figure of speech that I would like to predicate my life on yours." So he gets himself into an indicative mood and says, "It would be appreciated by me if you would be married to me."

"Are you being passive aggressive?" she asks interrogatively.

"No, I'm speaking in the active voice. Please don't have a vowel movement about this. I simile want to say to you, 'Metaphors be with you!' I would never want to change you and become a misplaced modifier. It's imperative that you understand that I'm very, very font of you and want us to spend infinitive together."

"That's quite a compliment," she blushes -- and gives him appositive response.

At the ceremonies they exchange wedding vowels about the compound subject of marriage.

Finally, they say, "I do," which is actually the longest and most complex of sentences -- a run-on sentence, actually -- one that we all hope won't turn out to be a sentence fragment.

Then the minister diagrams that sentence and says, "I now pronouns you consonant and vowel."

They kiss each other on the ellipsis and whisper to each other, "I love you, noun forever."

Throughout their marriage, their structure is perfectly parallel and their verbs never disagree with their subjects.

After many a linking verve, comma splice and interjection, they conceive the perfect parent thesis. Then come some missing periods and powerful contractions, and into the world is born their beautiful little boy.

They know it is a boy because of its dangling participle.

-Author Unknown

This is one of the best e-mail I have received as a forward so far. Truly enjoyable. More so if said aloud with a Brit accent and sarcasm!