Monday, December 04, 2006

That Was Then, Later Became Now

[Posted by reader_iam]

In response to the appropriateness of criticizing presidents; and to the owed and traditionally honored "respects paid" to presidents and other elected officials; and to the harkings back to "more" civilized times in American politics; and to the idea that judgments in time are equal to those over time; and--last but not least--all the evidence contra All of That, I've been looking through certain quotes and historical stories, in considering a post, but mostly for my own amusement and confirmation.

Come what may of that endeavour, I find myself returned again, as I have many times over the past few days, to the following, which I decided deserved a post of its own, quite apart from the aforementioned contemplation:
"We did not conceive it possible that even Mr. Lincoln would produce a paper [The Gettysburg Address] so slipshod, so loose-jointed, so puerile, not alone in literary construction, but in its ideals, its sentiments, its grasps. He has outdone himself. Has literally come out of the little end of his own horn. By the side of it, mediocrity is superb."
--the Chicago Times, 1863 (From The Book of Poisonous Quotes, Compiled by Colin M. Jarman)

The times and the assumptions--Oh! How they've a-change-d.

(Haven't they?)

Acknowledging: Minor punctuation tweaks to emphasize the "earful"; and one "add-back" from what I wrote originally offline, inadvertently deleted during an edit prior to publishing the post initially: and to the idea that judgments in time are equal to those over time.