"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I'll Take "The Black Death" for $500, Alex

Apropos of nothing in particular – or of everything in general – we ask you to participate in the following poll. You may confide your answers to us, or hold them secretly in your heart. But we think that either way you should ponder them.

QUESTION 1: True or False – “I wish I had not been born in the United States in the latter half of the 20th Century.”

If you answered “TRUE” to Question 1, then go on to

QUESTION 2: Complete the following sentence – “I wish instead that I had been born in [NAME OF COUNTRY] in [YEAR OR CENTURY].”

You are not permitted to dictate your social, political or economic status. You must assume that you would have been born an average person for the time and place that you name. Neither may you select a future time, speculating that by then the Lord will have returned, or Howard Dean will have succeeded in creating Heaven on Earth.

You may begin.

[UPDATE] Edited as shown above. It's Hell to get old.

Comments on "I'll Take "The Black Death" for $500, Alex"


Blogger Wilhelm said ... (10:18 AM) : 

GF -- Question 1 assumes facts not in evidence. Not all of us were born in the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. This may shock you, but a few decrepit geezers born in the FIRST half of the twentieth century are still around, and even reading G&S.


Blogger Durward Kirby said ... (10:24 AM) : 

Sure, but only barely (that is, "barely" in the first half, as well as "barely" still around).


Blogger Hired Hand said ... (1:09 PM) : 

Obviously, you would have to choose the U.S. in the 20th century if you were going to be an "Average Citizen." Except, of course, if you were black.


Anonymous Heeeeey Boooooys said ... (1:36 PM) : 

The Rawlsian "Original Position," of course, is as such:

"no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status, nor does anyone know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence, strength, and the like. I shall even assume that the parties do not know their conceptions of the good or their special psychological propensities."

This would mean that even if you believed it to be a matter of conscious psychological choice (and not an innate characteristic), you'd have to consider the possibility that you might be a homosexual. In Arkansas or something. Ew! Guh-roooooss!


Blogger Gentleman Farmer said ... (2:08 PM) : 

And if you were black, then you'd instead opt to have been born in . . .?

Zimbabwe in 2005? India in 1550?

Think carefully.

As to being a homosexual, then go for it: When and where was the Golden Age of sexual deviance?


Blogger Hired Hand said ... (2:51 PM) : 

If I were black, would I want to be born in the U.S. in 1650? 1750? 1850? 1950?


Blogger Gentleman Farmer said ... (3:01 PM) : 

That would be your job to pick.

It seems to me that, as against any other time or place in human history, a black person would want to be born in the United States in the 20th Century.

But I'm open to well-reasoned and researched alternative suggestions.


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