Here is a little more about
the crisis, although in several ways it's not:
It's about Will Rogers and the crisis of the
Being Dutch, I had read some
quotations by Will Rogers, that I liked, but
didn't know anything about the man, other than
that it had stuck in my mind that he was an
American humorist who was partially Cherokee
Indian, and had died before World War II.
I have no idea how and when I
picked up those biographic details, but I was
right, as you may verify in the Wikipedia
He died in 1935 in an airplane
accident, and he was clearly a very smart man
who to some extent posed as if he was much
less smart and much more of a common man than
he really was.
I wrote "to some extent" because
all public appearance is posturing to an
extent, usually based on what's real, but it
gets edited for showing off in public. Rogers
seems to have been uncommonly honest and he
clearly was a natural, and an original
as well, but being myself from another country
and another era I find him not easy to judge,
except for his evident real smartness and wit.
Indeed, very few strike me that
way, that is: in the way of being really smart
and really witty, in an uncontrived
spontaneous manner, for nearly all the wits I
have seen and heard were witty from a
capacious memory, but not from a natural
Then again, I did myself come to
the sort of conclusion Will Rogers phrased in
today's epigraph - I am taking comedians
(George Carlin, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher)
considerably more serious than politicians,
because they strike me as being much smarter,
much more honest, better informed, while they
also make me laugh.
Will Rogers fits in that
tradition of truly smart men trying to
enlighten the people. In Will Rogers' case,
the people he wanted to enlighten some by
amusing them decidedly were the common
people rather than the intellectuals, whence
his public persona.
Judge for yourself, for I put
him in this series about the economical crisis
for having publicly said things like this:
This is part of a radio speech
about the crisis of the 1930ies. This was also
filmed, and the whole speech, filmed and
taped, is here:
is considerably more by and about him on the
internet, including some of the films he made,
with and without sound, and I also found this,
it seems from the 1950ies:
I liked this, and there is a
part 2 as well, and there seems to be a part 3
I haven't found so far, but I realize this may
look stuffy. If it does - and I don't say no:
these were stuffy, restrained and artificial
times - you should also realize that the text
is a lot better than TV has offered since,
apart from exceptions, which seem to be mostly
on BBC 4, after 23.00 hrs, as far as I can
tell, but then indeed I have no TV since 1970,
since my intelligence isn't fit for its common
offerings, and also I am blessed and cursed
with a very good visual memory, alas without
There is only one thing that
can kill the Movies, and that is education.
That was a Will Rogers quote,
that also applies to TV, and to the decline of
civilization of the last four decades. Here
are two or three on the art of life:
We are all here for a spell;
get all the good laughs you can.
Even if you're on the right
track, you'll get run over if you just sit
Everything is funny as long as
it is happening to Somebody Else.
As to civilization and its
You can't say that
civilization don't advance, however, for in
every war they kill you in a new way.
As to the wisdom of governors
and politicians, and the art of diplomacy:
Be thankful we're not getting
all the government we're paying for.
There's no trick to being a
humorist when you have the whole government
working for you.
Diplomacy is the art of saying
'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.
On the surprising ways of the
I never expected to see the
day when girls would get sunburned in the
places they do today.
You know everybody is
ignorant, only on different subjects.
Which surely is true, except
that almost everybody has perfected this,
mostly thanks to the standards of postmodern
education, to an almost prodigious degree,
while nearly all of the prodigiously ignorant
believe they know best, mistaking their
prejudices for sound common sense.
Anyway... I was pleasurably
surprised by Will Rogers, and also like to
mention, in connection with this saying of his
(and he seemed to produce his witticism off
When the Okies left Oklahoma and
moved to California, they raised the average
intelligence level in both states.
that this is quite possible,
mathematically speaking, and is explained in
Will Rogers phenomenon, if you can't
reason it out yourself. (Then again, there may
be a hidden barb: Surely, if all the Okies are
out of Oklahoma, the human intelligence level
there is zero?)
In any case, it should also be true
about psychiatrists and inmates of asylums:
Lock up the shrinks, and average human
intelligence grows everywhere! What
miracles of human happiness and increases in
general intelligence and human decency might
be realized by some judiciously locking away
of various flocks of shrinks!
most wasted day is that in which we have