erik lundegaard

Quote of the Day posts

Saturday July 18, 2015

The Best Defense of Atticus Finch Comes from a Lawyer Who Became a Lawyer Because of Atticus Finch

Call it the circle of law.

As soon as I heard the news about “Go Set a Watchman,” I wondered about all of those lawyers who became lawyers because of the example of Atticus Finch. So in my day job, we set about interviewing some of them about the revelations of Atticus' paternalistic racism in Harper Lee's new (and suspect) novel, “Go Set a Watchman.”

The best response so far comes form antitrust attorney Allan Van Fleet of Texas, who told us:

Just taking it at absolute face value that Atticus, at the time of To Kill a Mockingbird, was a racist underneath it all, I'm going to put it out there that in some ways that makes him more heroic.

If he was just innately a good person and he stood up and did what he knew was right, there it was; there are great people in the world who do things like that. But if there was ... prejudice in his heart, then in some ways he's more heroic to overcome that.

This might be the most beautiful part:

The other thing I think is especially important: he taught a very different message to his children. ... One can teach one's children to think and act differently from one's own generation.

The full story, by Jessica Tam, here

Atticus Finch

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Posted at 06:56 AM on Jul 18, 2015 in category Quote of the Day
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Wednesday July 15, 2015

Best Paragraph I've Read This Week

From Jelani Cobb's innovative takedown, “Donald Trump is a Rapper,” on The New Yorker site:

Measured against the probability of, say, the Chicago Cubs winning the Super Bowl, the Presidential campaign of Donald John Trump, real-estate baron, clothier, and firer of faux employees, has a degree of plausibility. Considered by more conventional measures—and recent polling data notwithstanding—Trump stands almost no chance of gaining the Republican nomination, or ascending to the Presidency if he did. His is a campaign of vanity, of the sort that suggests an inversion of Sherman's dictum: if he campaigns he shall not be nominated, if nominated he shall not win. This does not mean that his campaign is without significance. Trump has attacked a number of targets in his embryonic candidacy—China, Mexican immigrants, Hillary Clinton—but his most personal grudge appears to be against euphemism. He does not bother to sheath his protectionist urges in pablum about competitiveness, preferring prosecutorial accusation of trade infringement. His gaseous bigotry toward Mexicans who cross the border illegally traffics in unrefined stereotypes, not the language of “fairness” to those immigrants who wait their turn. In launching his campaign he openly stated the underlying rationale of his candidacy: “I'm rich.”

The rest of the piece is good, too.

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Posted at 10:43 AM on Jul 15, 2015 in category Quote of the Day
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Thursday July 02, 2015

Welcome to Obsolescence, Everyone

Amen, Joe Posnanski. From his piece, “The Asheville Pinball Museum Turns Everyone into an Arcade Wizard,” in Our State magazine:

One of the daunting things about getting old is how quietly stuff — your stuff — becomes outdated and obsolete and, most of all, forgotten.

Take phone booths. They don't really exist anymore except as photo props in London. This hit me hard recently when, as a family, we watched the old Christopher Reeve Superman movie. There's a little joke in the movie — a killer joke when I was young — where Clark Kent is looking for a phone booth to change in, and he comes upon one of those newfangled 1970s half phone booths without a door. He grimaces and searches for another place to become Superman. I remember the theater when I first saw it: screams of laughter.

To my daughters, 10 and 13, this joke might as well have been a Sanskrit retelling of the fable “Of Crows and Owls.” They got absolutely none of it. They didn't get that Superman used to change in phone booths. They didn't get why there were new phone booths. They didn't even get the basic concept of phone booths. To them, the time before cell phones is a time before understanding.

There is too much stuff like that, stuff that was such a big part of my life, stuff that I expected would last forever — Saturday morning cartoons, taping songs off the radio, video stores, electric football, actual paper letters that came in mailboxes. That stuff, to my daughters, isn't just gone, but ancient and silly and lost in the dumpster of pointless history.“

Here are some thoughts I had about those actual paper letters that came in actual mailboxes, after I saw the 2009 film ”Bright Star," a biopic of John Keats:

Keats travels to the Isle of Wight to write, to try to make a living, and Fanny is left behind. Ah, but the letters. He writes, says he wishes they could be butterflies, living three perfect summer days and expiring, and she and her siblings collect butterflies and fill her room. “When I don’t hear from him,” she confesses to her mother, “it’s as if I’d die.” I remember those feelings. I remember those letters. My own doomed first love took place in the late 1980s, and though 170 years had passed between me and Keats the means of communication, give or take a telephone, were more or less the same. Twenty years later it’s not. Do today’s young lovers still send letters? How does one clutch an e-mail to one’s chest? There is no more daily waiting for the postman. Now the wait is 24/7. Has she written? Has she written? I think I’d go mad.

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Posted at 03:18 PM on Jul 02, 2015 in category Quote of the Day
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Tuesday June 30, 2015

Quote of the Day: Three O'Clock in the Afternoon

Jerry: Don't you find the afternoon depressing?

Bill: Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Three o'clock in the afternoon is always too early or too late to do anything.”

Jerry [Laughs]: He should've done more stand-up.

-- postprandial conversation between Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, S6 E4

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Posted at 04:40 PM on Jun 30, 2015 in category Quote of the Day
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Saturday June 27, 2015

Quote of the Day: 'Scalia also took issue...'

“Scalia also took issue with the majority's view that marriage is about free expression, grumbling, 'Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.' Which is both a fiery dissent and the world's longest 'Lockhorns' comic.”

-- Stephen Colbert, “June Is a Lovely Time for a Wedding,” on SCOTUS' 5-4 decision yesterday making same-sex marriage a constitutional right.

the world's longest Lockhorns comic, via Stephen Colbert

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Posted at 07:15 AM on Jun 27, 2015 in category Quote of the Day
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard