Monday, May 24, 2010

Terrible Things

While I'm on a Writer's Almanac roll (see Saturday's post on Salvador Dali), I saved this one from last August 14th:

It's the birthday of journalist, essayist, and humorist Russell Baker, (books by this author) born in Morrisonville, Virginia (1925). He's a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner; the first he won in 1979 for distinguished commentary for his syndicated humor column, "The Observer," which ran from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. The second Pulitzer he received for his autobiography, Growing Up (1982). He's edited a number of anthologies, including The Norton Book of Light Verse (1986). He once said, "I gave up on new poetry myself thirty years ago, when most of it began to read like coded messages passing between lonely aliens in a hostile world."

Russell Baker said, "Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things."

Sure makes me immediately think of the War on Terror and the justifications for torture, unlawful wiretaps, and incarcerations without due process.

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