Supposedly when Margot Asquith met Jean Harlow, Harlow kept pronouncing all the letters in Margot.  In exasperation, Asquith finally said, “The ‘t’ in Margot is silent just like the ‘t’ in Harlow.”

“That night I discovered the improbable pleasure of contemplating the body of a sleeping woman without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of desire.” Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Memories of My Melancholy Whores.

The ad for a New York City restaurant said: “Farm to table Greek food.” I had some questions.

Because of recent movies and documentaries, clips are being played of the most famous passage from President John F. Kennedy’s Let’s-Go-Mooning Speech: “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.” Memorable. Inspirational. But piffle. No country, no one, should choose to do something because it is hard. Building a perpetual motion machine is hard. Turning lead into gold is hard. Hopping on one foot for twenty-four straight hours is hard. Their difficulty is not a reason to commit to attempting them. The easiness of doing something is also not a reason to do or not to do it. The starting point should not be the difficulty or ease of a project. The starting point should be whether the goal is worth the effort.

I sporadically post First Sentences. For whatever the reason, these are sentences that attract me. My standard is that it be the first sentence, and not more, of the introduction or the initial chapter of a book I am reading or one that I have read that is on my shelves. I don’t do research and find books that I have read but no longer have. If any such opening passages have intrigued you, please feel free to send them to me through the contact link so that I can post them.

A hurricane pummels a state rife with conservative politicians. These are the officeholders who, when running for office, label opponents as devoted to tax-and-spend, who decry Washington, who almost weep over Big Government. But in the aftermath of the storm they beseech Washington for tax dollars to be spent on them by big government agencies. Hypocrisy never seems to occur to them. Irony is beyond them.

The academic paper’s “basic premise appears to be that if you are truly stupid you not only do things stupidly but are in all likelihood too stupid to realize how stupidly you are doing them.” Bill Bryson, The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain.

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