Monday, April 16, 2007

"And now you shall hear from me an extemportaneous speech, unlabored, but so much the truer for all that. I should not want you to think it is made to show off my wit, as is done by the common run or orators. They, as you know so well, when they bring out a speech they have been working on for thirty whole years, and sometimes not their own at all, will swear it was written in three days, for pastime, or even that they merely dictated it. For my part, it has always been most satisfactory to speak 'whatever pops into my head.' "

-- from The Praise of Folly


Anonymous Yossarian said...

"The Prophet", by Kahlil Gibran, is a very famous work whose central figure could be considered a kind of sacred fool, but would be better read as an all-knowing holy man.

"The Profit", by Kehlog Albran, is a rather old parody of The Prophet that has remained alive in an underground way for quite a while. The main character could less be considered a holy man than a fool, albeit a somewhat holy one.

Is a parody significant? Possibly - I discovered it because many of the quotes were embedded in the UNIX "fortune" command (which displays an arbitrary quotation when invoked), so I like to think that the text is still embedded somewhere at the bottom of serious hacker culture, or at least the serious hacker culture of people growing up in the 60s and 70s. And, of course, it's funny.

On Fate

A priest asked,
What is Fate, Master?

And he answered:
It is that which gives a beast of burden its reason for existence.
It is that which men in former times had to bear upon their backs.
It is that which has caused nations to build by-ways from City to City upon which carts and coaches pass, and alongside which inns have come to be built to stave off Hunger, Thirst and Weariness.
It is that which has caused great fleets of ships to ply the Seven Seas wherever the wind blows.

And that is Fate? said the priest.

Fate... I thought you said Freight, responded the Master.

That's all right, said the priest. I wanted to know what Freight was too


12:48 PM  

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