The freedom to
fuss over politics
Bravo to Douglas Elia!
His wicked skewering of left-leaners (which I fear would include me) was a delightfully ironic and funny letter (Nov. 17), “Here’s a real liberal agenda.”
So let us now praise satirists. They come in all flavors, left, right, center, political, apolitical, utopian, apocalyptical, skeptical, or even religious. Jonathan Swift, for example, the great satirist of the 18th century, best known for “Gulliver’s Travels,” was a high-ranking cleric, Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Other notable conservative satirists: Aristophanes, Chaucer, Cervantes, Moliere, Evelyn Waugh, P.J. O’Rourke, Dennis Miller, and even Shakespeare perhaps in his comedic works (although it’s hard to pigeon-hole the Bard of Avon ideologically.) As the premier playwright of his time, he became comfortably wealthy and a member of the propertied class.
Neither is the left lacking in the fine art of satire. There’s Voltaire, Twain, Vonnegut, G.B. Shaw, H.L. Menken, Lenny Bruce, Art Buchwald, George Carlin, Chris Rock and Bill Maher. Oops! I almost forget Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. “Saturday Night Live,” of course, is the modern Mecca of satire. But it cannot be pegged politically since it is an equal opportunity demolition squad that punctures all pomposities.
Politically speaking, conservatives tend more toward the realistic, especially when it comes to fiscal or economic matters, while progressives tend toward the idealistic, toward dreaming the impossible dream and spending liberally for it.
As Mr. Elia might put it, let the printing presses roll 24/7 and grind out tons of money (forget about inflation and the government drowning in an ocean of red ink) and give handouts to all hands held out. With everybody feeding at the breast of Mother Government, no one will have to work or create jobs, and everybody will be forever happy. Now that’s gotta be a surefire winning formula for a Nobel Prize in economics.
Conservatives clearly see themselves as grounded in reality and their opposites with their heads in the clouds.
Come to think of it, Aristophanes, the greatest writer of comedies in the ancient world, wrote a play called, “The Clouds.” It satirized the famous radical of its time, Socrates. Some say it might have even contributed to the famous philosopher’s sentence of death.
Thanks to the Enlightenment in the 18th century and the flowering of democracy, the realists and idealists have the freedom to duke it out, define each other, and not be punished for it.
As we see, for example, in Mr. Elia’s welcome touch of wit.
— Saul Rosenthal
set for March 18
On May 14, 2012, Terre Haute North High School honored Carl S. Riddle (in memoriam), Curt Brighton and Katherine Utley at the first annual Polaris Awards. These individuals make North High School proud to call them Patriots.
The second annual Polaris Awards will be held at The MCL Banquet Center on March 18, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will include musical entertainment by THN students, a multimedia presentation, and a three-course meal with choice of three entrees, followed by dessert and presentations.
Please consider supporting this celebration in honor of those who uphold the traditions and values championed by Mr. Riddle and his successors. Sponsors will be recognized at the event.
Nomination forms may be found on the Terre Haute North Vigo High School webpage at www.vigoschools.org or a form may be picked up at North in the main office.
Please return completed forms to Terre Haute North Vigo High School by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing to Polaris Award Screening Committee, 3434 Maple Ave., Terre Haute, IN 47804 by Dec. 19. Recipients will be notified in January of 2013 and will be honored at the school and the March banquet.
— David Bray
Terre Haute North Vigo
The freedom to
- READERS' FORUM: May 23, 2013
READERS' FORUM: May 22, 2013
Rich history all along the river
Great work by Duke employees
READERS’ FORUM: May 21, 2013
• Great response to annual golf outing
• Doing your part on climate change
READERS' FORUM: May 20, 2013
The dangers of a little knowledge
Students enjoyed Rose study trip
READERS' FORUM: May 19, 2013
• Flawed reasoning on gun checks
• A hint of things yet to come?
• Are the ‘makers’ doing the ‘taking’?
• The ‘Obamination’ is finally revealed
• Pondering effects of Obamacare
• Fantasizing on the ‘Apocalypse’
• Another view of Hinduism
• Great experience for HCMS students
FLASHPOINT: A legislative session of missed opportunities
Given the nature of politicians, grand claims of accomplishments and overblown rhetoric about “historic” efforts are to be expected at the close of any legislative session.
READERS' FORUM: May 17, 2013
Hinduism doesn’t deserve ridicule — Shefali Purohit, Terre Haute
Readers' Forum: May 16, 2013
Moving Deming folks sounds ‘nuts’
Readers' Forum: May 15, 2013
Participants rise to the challenge: I would like to write a letter congratulating all the Wabash Valley Roadrunners that competed in the One America Indianapolis Mini Marathon.
READERS' FORUM: May 14, 2013
ISTEP failure exposes flaws
Community hasn’t changed its spirit
Egregious threat to nation’s defense
READERS' FORUM: May 13, 2013
• Women’s group criticizes Bucshon
• Let’s hope this doesn’t come true
• Many get thanks for fest success
READERS' FORUM: May 12, 2013
Vigo Youth Football, entering 45th year, seeks new support
Media ignoring important case on abortions
Proud to be old-fashioned
Guns in school? What’s next?
Promoting hate not a ‘brave’ act
FLASHPOINT: Again in 2013 General Assembly, middle class generally ignored
Last year, the people of Indiana entrusted the Republican Party with some of their most precious possessions.
Readers’ Forum: May 11, 2013
I just wanted to express my disappointment at the lack of response shown by President Obama after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Readers' Forum: May 10, 2013
CANDLES event plants new seed: On April 26, CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center hosted an event called “Sowing Seeds of Peace: A Celebration of Spring” at the Apple House. Our purpose was to introduce people to our concept of forgiveness as a seed for peace.
READERS’ FORUM: May 6, 2013
• Money drives our newfound ‘needs’
• Guns not the only dangerous objects
Readers’ Forum; May 5, 2013
Thankful for Pyle museum: I was happy to see the announcement of the Ernie Pyle Museum’s summer season opening, and I was reminded of how fortunate we all are to have such a museum close by.
FLASHPOINT: Lessons from the legacy media — get it right, first
Enough mistakes and maybe we’ll learn: When in doubt, leave it out.
FLASHPOINT: Hoosiers got steady hand in recent session
As the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker of the House, I pledged a renewed spirit of bipartisanship with legislators working together to solve our state’s most pressing challenges. As this year’s legislative session concludes, representatives from throughout the state — Republican and Democrat — have joined together to address those issues at the forefront of Hoosier minds: maintaining our state’s fiscal integrity, spurring job creation and expanding education opportunities for every Hoosier family.
READERS' FORUM: May 3, 2013
Deep gratitude during tragic time
READERS’ FORUM: May 2, 2013
• Terre Haute takes care of their own
• Postal contract causes concern
• Food price rise not appreciated
READERS' FORUM: May 1, 2013
Great support for Clay Habitat
READERS’ FORUM: April 30, 2013
• Gujarat attack was provoked
• Proud honor for THN student
READERS’ FORUM: April 29, 2013
• Avoid language of extremism
Readers' Forum: April 28, 2013
Another debacle for landowners: The integrity of our city and county officials continues to erode with an Issue that has come up on the east side of the city behind the Sycamore Terrace apartments.
FLASHPOINT: Time has arrived for overhaul of TV news
Former FCC Chairman Alfred Sikes gave an address in 1992 in which he claimed television news was too superficial and too focused on visuals.
Readers’ Forum: April 25, 2013
• Common Core: A simple choice
• Club again launches St. Ann’s fundraiser
READERS’ FORUM: April 24, 2013
• Good service was noticed
READERS’ FORUM: April 23, 2013
• Another great season at THN
• We’ve discarded our own privacy
READERS’ FORUM: April 22, 2013
Chickens should not be banned from residences
A challenge to Islamist dogma
- More Letters Headlines