Archives for July 2010

P. J. O’Rourke on the writing process

Writing is a slow and a difficult process mentally. How you physically render the words onto a screen or a page doesn’t help you. I’ll give you this example. When words had to be carved into stone, with a chisel, you got the Ten Commandments. When the quill pen had been invented and you had to chase a goose around the yard and sharpen the pen and boil some ink and so on, you got Shakespeare. When the fountain pen came along, you got Henry James. When the typewriter came along, you got Jack Kerouac. And now that we have the computer, we have Facebook. Are you seeing a trend here?

—P. J. O’Rourke, ‘Very Little That Gets Blogged Is Of Very Much Worth

John C. Wright on fairy-tale logic

If the kiss of a princess is the only thing that can turn a frog into a prince, then that kiss and nothing else must be had. Being kissed by a Duchess or a Countess will not do, not even if Parliament so decrees. In a medical thriller or a science fiction story, perhaps, you can have someone discover an unexpected miracle cure, or have Scotty use the Transporter to turn the frog back to his true shape. Science fiction is all about problem solving through technology. Science fiction is about daydreaming. But Fairy stories are about logic.

—John C. Wright, ‘What to Do When Your Outline Breaks

G. K. C. on tolerance

But modern tolerance is deafer than intolerance. The old religious authorities, at least, defined a heresy before they condemned it, and read a book before they burned it. But we are always saying to a Mormon or a Moslem — ‘Never mind about your religion, come to my arms.’ To which he naturally replies — ‘But I do mind about my religion, and I advise you to mind your eye.’
. . . . .
Historians seem to have completely forgotten the two facts — first, that men act from ideas; and second, that it might, therefore, be as well to discover which ideas.

—G. K. Chesterton, ‘Mormonism