Archives for April 2014

Ambrose Bierce defines ‘Editor’

From The Devil’s Dictionary:

EDITOR, n. A person who combines the judicial functions of Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus, but is placable with an obolus; a severely virtuous censor, but so charitable withal that he tolerates the virtues of others and the vices of himself; who flings about him the splintering lightning and sturdy thunders of admonition till he resembles a bunch of firecrackers petulantly uttering his mind at the tail of a dog; then straightway murmurs a mild, melodious lay, soft as the cooing of a donkey intoning its prayer to the evening star. Master of mysteries and lord of law, high-pinnacled upon the throne of thought, his face suffused with the dim splendors of the Transfiguration, his legs intertwisted and his tongue a-cheek, the editor spills his will along the paper and cuts it off in lengths to suit. And at intervals from behind the veil of the temple is heard the voice of the foreman demanding three inches of wit and six lines of religious meditation, or bidding him turn off the wisdom and whack up some pathos.

O, the Lord of Law on the Throne of Thought,
A gilded impostor is he.
Of shreds and patches his robes are wrought,
His crown is brass,
Himself an ass,
And his power is fiddle-dee-dee.
Prankily, crankily prating of naught,
Silly old quilly old Monarch of Thought.
Public opinion’s camp-follower he,
Thundering, blundering, plundering free.
Respected contemporaree!

—J.H. Bumbleshook

(Hat tip to Peter Grant, by way of  Mad Genius Club.)

And now, a public-service announcement

First, an item of late news:

I have been unable to write or work at much of anything for several weeks, because (as it turns out) my thyroid gland has gone walkabout. So I spend an average of about 16 hours per day sleeping, and the rest in a waking fog, whilst my thyroid schleps about the Northern Territory, communing with kangaroos, dodging crocodiles, and pretending to be Paul Hogan with very little success. At least it hasn’t been eaten yet. Medication is forthcoming once tests have been completed and results resultivated.

In the meantime, allow me to remind you all of Unbreakable Rule #5 of Good SF, courtesy of Reginald Pikedevant:

This is old information, but apparently there are some benighted souls who have not yet received the news. Spread the word! And remember, there may be a quiz on this later in the term.