Friday, July 31, 2020

Messages from Crostics V. 212

One of many things my father bequeathed me was a lifetime love of doing Crostic puzzles. They’re similar to crossword puzzles, but have a back and forth thing happening that awakens the mind in specific ways,  both mathematical and linguistic. And the prize at the end is a quote from a book or article. The quotes themselves can range from Erma Bombeck to Dostoevsky, the books from Reader’s Digest to Macbeth. 

I generally reserve these puzzles for plane trips and in normal life, rarely do more than one every few weeks. During the sheltering time, I’ve been more following my Dad’s habit of doing one a day. And I noticed that the last three had some relevant quotes for our times. Here they are to close out July:

History is replete with proofs, from Cato the Elder to Kennedy the Younger, that if you scratch a statesman, you find an actor, but it is becoming harder and harder in our time to tell government from show business. 

This from James Thurber from at least 50 years ago. What would he think today?

Know what is evil, no matter how worshipped it may be. Let the man of sense not mistake it, even when clothed in brocade or at times crowned in gold, because it cannot thereby hide its hypocrisy. For slavery does not lose its infamy however noble the master.

Well, these days, there’s not much of an attempt to hide it. And still some—maybe 40% of Americans—still don’t see it.

And this last from George Bernard Shaw is the most relevant of all to my current reality!

I am sure that if people had to choose between living where the noise of children never stopped and where it was never heard, all the good-natured and sound people would prefer the incessant noise to the incessant silence. 

After three weeks with two explosively vocal grandchildren, the jury is still out for me on this one.

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