TALE

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NYE, 2-0-fourteen

Franny & I had a small dinner party on New Year’s Eve, and in spite of some “timing” issues and a broken accordion case, a good time was had by all.  Franny made pork wrapped in puff pastry, I made popcorn and played the accordion, we watched the ball drop in high definition on our new TV, and we took some photos…

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It was nice to spend the night with people who we are fortunate enough to call good friends, and to have an apartment (and a dining room table) large enough to host them all.

January began the next day, and I don’t care what T.S. Eliot says –– January is the cruelest month.  I’d trade January for April anytime.

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ten centuries and ten thousand men

“Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that ‘plagiarism’ farce! As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism! The kernel, the soul — let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances — is plagiarism. For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing. When a great orator makes a great speech you are listening to ten centuries and ten thousand men — but we call it his speech, and really some exceedingly small portion of it is his. But not enough to signify. It is merely a Waterloo. It is Wellington’s battle, in some degree, and we call it his; but there are others that contributed. It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a telephone or any other important thing — and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite — that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that.”

–Mark Twain/Sam Clemens