In this modern, plugged-in world, information moves at breakneck speeds. News travels around the globe at the click of a keystroke, the flicker of a fiber-optic cable. No one knows when a microphone or camera is nearby, and then it's too late. Words and images are captured for posterity, such as it is, on film, tape, digital media, or HTML code for at least the near future.
Here at Dept. of Nance, I'm just trying to do my part. In case you missed them, I've gathered a few of the most memorable quotes spoken over the last few weeks that I've found newsworthy. Naturally, I can't help but add a bit of commentary, and I hope you'll be moved to do the same.
"We don't have much. What we have in excess is women. So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands."--Mao Zedong Mao said this in 1973, according to some documents recently released by the US State Dept.'s historian. The occasion? Trade talks. I can only imagine what he wanted in return. What did we have in excess in 1973, do you think, that Richard Nixon would have traded in order to gain tens of thousands of Chinese women? Skylab? Perhaps, in hindsight, Mark Felt.
"I'm standing on the roof of Parliament because the democratic process has been corrupted."--Richard George This man was one of five people who climbed out onto the Houses of Parliament to protest the expansion of Heathrow. Can you possibly imagine what the Capitol might look like if Congress protested the fact that the United States' democratic process has been corrupted in just this fashion? How many people do you think would be perched on the roof? I'm hoping plenty.
"I'm not sure why it's going to take them three hours to learn how to press a button."--Mike Perry, owner of a small, locally owned coffee shop on Starbucks' three-hour closure to " retrain employees and improve coffee quality." Exactly, Mike Perry. Call bullshit exactly what it is when you smell it. Hey, Starbucks! Everyone knows what your three-hour session was: a corporate panic attack. And you're doing exactly what all big businesses do when the bottom line goes red, and that's blame the employees. I live near Cedar Point, a major amusement park. When it started losing money because it jacked up ticket prices, guess what it did. Did it say, hey! People around here don't have that kinda cash to lay out for a day at a rollercoaster place? No. They berated their workers (my sister-in-law was one at the time) and said that the Number One Reason park attendance was down was...Employee Rudeness. So, Starbucks, keep charging exorbitant rates for a cup of basically highly-sugared, overly-creamed, super-caloric java and I'll keep patronizing my second-floor lounge at The Rock.
"We're not gonna change. I'm too country."--Tonya Harris This woman is the winner of $275 million dollars in the Mega Millions lottery. Oh, that silly, silly woman. Of course she will change. I saw her and her husband, a very Georgia country singer looking guy with silvery hair and Colonel Sanders moustache, on television. They were still in shock. They lived in a little trailer-looking house and were talking about giving money to their grandkids and all that. I do believe that part, about giving money to the grandkids, but trust me, Tonya. You'll be shoe shopping and going on cruises and dropping the phrases "Manolo Blahnik" and "Marc Jacobs" in no time. No time.
"Last year, after Virginia Tech, I thought, 'I'm not going to be a victim.' "--Nick, senior at University of Utah. This student carries a gun now to his classes on campus in the only state to allow weapons at all public universities. I don't know whether to cry or throw up. I hate that Nick feels he must do this. I'm sickened that he can.
"The problem is time. There just isn't enough time. Men won't spend a whole day away from their family anymore."--Walter Hurney, a real estate developer on the decline of golf. Hey, Walter, here's a news flash for ya: golf is boring! And it promotes bad fashion. Remember what Mark Twain said, "Golf is a good walk spoiled." I think golf is too time-consuming and it's basically a downer. Rick and I have a rule, and this is it: he isn't allowed to tell me his score if it's more than 40, and that's for 9 holes. Really, any more than that and he should be embarrassed anyway. The only good thing about golf is that it gave me a husband. I met Rick in college phys. ed. golf class.
Finally, here's one that made me miss "The West Wing", which was one of the best television shows ever. I used to love when Rob Lowe's character and Bradley Whitford's character would suddenly crow "He got The Question!" And The Question would be something that would make that candidate or whomever become totally undone. Like when Poppy/Bush 41 got "How much is a gallon of milk?" and he had no idea. Well, get this: "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that. "--Angel of Death, unaware of predictions that gasoline would reach $4 in the coming months. "Interesting"?! That doesn't even begin to cover it, buster.