Aug 30, 2009

Just trying to be one of the guys. Miss Riley has to have a minor surgical procedure on Tuesday morning. General anesthesia, so while it's routine, it's a bit unnerving, too. Ever hear this quote? "Never pick a fight with a man who buys his ink by the barrel." I've been reminded of it because Sen. Harry Reid D-NV and Majority Leader of the Senate, has started a war he cannot possibly win with the largest newspaper in his state, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Reid is increasingly unpopular in his state and he blames the paper for his predicament. The Review-Journal's editorial board is not fond of Harry as a senator. Polls show Reid losing 2010 reelection bid two-to-one to about any candidate who is alive and shows up. But this rant is not about Harry Reid. It is about how many people thinks history only extends as far back as they can remember. Google the quote, "Never pick a fight with a man who buys his ink by the barrel", and you will find a lot of citations attributing it to Bill Clinton. And not just citations from ordinary cranks like me, but seemingly reputable websites, too. Bill Clinton? What's next, Al Gore wrote the Ten Commandment? Wait, Al may actually be spreading that one around. People attribute the quote to Franklin, to Twain and later historical figures. Whatever its origin, since I first heard it as a boy, I'm fairly sure it wasn't Clinton's. This is my all-time favorite story from the files of, History Began With Me. I was an older college student, sitting in a Humanities class one Saturday morning when the professor brought up the idea of landmark moments in our lives. Those moments that we will always remember for where we were when they occurred. He used the John Kennedy assassination as an example of one of those moments. I was in the 7th grade lunch line at Mary Naylor Junior High, for the record. During the professor's lecture, an 18ish young woman in front of me turned and asked me, "Kennedy, he was the President or something, right?" Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

7 comments:

Steve said...

I went to Bartlett's to look up the source of that quotation and, surprisingly, the search couldn't find it. Methinks the search function is screwed up. In any case, I agree with you -- it predates Bill Clinton.

I love stories like the one about Kennedy. People amaze me sometimes. :)

The Bug said...

That quote was probably said ABOUT Franklin, not BY him LOL.

Gotta share your story with my historian husband - he has a barrel of such tales himself. One of his good friends, also a history professor, had a student complain once, "I hate history - it's just one d@#% thing after another." Ha!

Megan said...

Best wishes to Ms Riley.

That info about the ink barrel quote is pretty astounding. But then, there are people in this very building with me right now that don't even know it is possible to have a refillable pen, so...

Ronda Laveen said...

Refillable pen? Ahhh, thanks Megan.

Kurt said...

"Watch your pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves" - Bill Clinton

Barbara said...

I hope all goes well with Miss Riley's procedure. It's always so reassuring when they open their eyes to smile at you once again.

Anonymous said...

Good vibes to Riley--the kids look like texting teens in the photo.