Tag Archives: Samuel Johnson

An Irrational Entertainment

Samuel Johnson liked his cat, Hodge, but he wasn’t so sure about people. He could be a sour fellow. He thought the American Revolution was a stupid idea. He compiled the first English dictionary – he was angry that the … Continue reading

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The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

What was once considered important and immensely interesting, something everyone knew about and discussed, sooner or later becomes obscure and arcane. Folks were hot and bothered about James Joyce’s Ulysses at one time – the New York Society for the … Continue reading

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Always Hoping for the Best

When Samuel Johnson spoke, in scorn, of the triumph of hope over experience, he had something quite specific in mind – he was speaking of men who chose to marry for a second time. They should know better. Such things … Continue reading

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Life in the Big City

When a man is tired of London he is tired of life. Samuel Johnson said that in the late eighteenth century, coinciding with the somewhat new idea of the great city, as the industrial revolution was just beginning. The one … Continue reading

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The Unlikely Conservative

There are conservative icons more substantial than Barry Goldwater, who had no problem with gay folks, and Ronald Reagan, who, as president, raised taxes eleven times, and told congress, with some passion, that they’d be insane not to raise the … Continue reading

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Hitting the August Wall

Sometimes there is just nothing to say. Sure, big things are afoot. As Sherlock Holmes used to say – Come, Watson, the game is afoot! And off they’d go. And Watson never said just stuff it, Sherlock. But what with … Continue reading

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The Danger of Convincing Yourself That You’re Being Reasonable

Whereof one does not know, thereof one should not speak. And with those words Ludwig Wittgenstein decided he’d stop doing all that profound philosophy stuff. He decided he’d tend his garden instead – a little raking and hoeing and that … Continue reading

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