Article, History

LANGUAGE BEFORE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Long before the term political correctness had any meaning there was a richness to riposte sadly lacking in today’s vernacular. Those in the public eye often captured the headlines with a sneering wisecrack at an opponent. Newspaper editors too risked their readers’ wrath with an occasional derisive comeback.

Lord Sandwich was scathing when he scornfully addressed John Wilkes, editor of The North Briton: ‘Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of the pox.’ The newsman retorted: ‘That depends, sir, on whether I embrace your politics or your mistress.’

This exchange has wrongly been accredited to Gladstone and Disraeli. It was a time when the English language was an art-form; when people could communicate with richness.

‘If you were my husband I would give you poison,’ sneered Lady Astor to Winston Churchill. ‘If you were my wife I would take it,’ he answered back.

Insulting witticisms must include Clarence Darrow’s: ‘I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.’

If you think red-top tabloid crassness is a recent phenomenon reflect on William Faulkner’s take on Ernest Hemingway’s writings: ‘He has never been known to use a word that might send the reader to a dictionary.’ The war correspondent’s retort was to the point: ‘Does he really think that big emotions come from big words?’

Pity the wretched author who received a memo from Moses Hadas. ‘Thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I’ll waste no time reading it.’

Mark Twain, renowned for his sharp wit, once said; ‘I didn’t attend the funeral but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.’

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw loathed Winston Churchill. Aware that his corpulent foe was better known for his toadies than for genuine friends, he wrote: ‘I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play. Bring a friend, if you have one.’ Winston replied, ‘Cannot possibly attend the first night, will attend second, if there is one.’

Any in a misplaced relationship may take heart from Stephen Bishop’s remark: ‘I feel so miserable without you. It is almost like having you here.’ Equally sardonic the opinion of Irvin S. Cobb: ‘I have just heard about his illness. Let us hope it is nothing trivial’. The playwright Oscar Wilde was famous for his wit: ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.’

This brings us to the thereafter which prompted Jack E. Leonard to surmise; ‘There’s nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won’t cure.’

Thomas Brackett Reed might easily have been talking of today’s celebrities when he said, ‘They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.’ As for enthusiasts of pop music Billy Wilder spoke for many: ‘He has van Gogh’s ear for music.’

MICHAEL WALSH is a worldwide journalist, broadcaster and author of 64 book titles with 36 years experience. Like other journalists of integrity, he no longer writes for corporate media, opting instead for true journalism.

! ! Senator Fritz Hollings I will if you take an IQ test

! ! Noel Coward almost look like a man

! ! Dorothy Parker. Apparently youtr mother could bear fools

! ! Henry Clay, not be troubled. He will never be either

! ! Hitchcock. Best side, u r sitting on it

! ! Lincoln Whose do you polish

! ! Mark Twain lightning isn't distributed right

! ! No, I pray for my country

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Article

TO THE APPLAUSE OF BATMAN AND SUPERMAN

Most retirement gifts organised by work colleagues are memorable for all the right reasons. However, there are some departure gifts that for all the wrong reasons are best forgotten. Sadly, we remember them forever as long as forever lasts.

This is what happened to a senior gentleman in France, who was gifted a surprise-surprise test flight at one of the country’s airbases.

Thrilled to bits, the delighted retiree was appropriately attired for the flight ahead. Nervously, the man was helped up the ladder to the jet’s canopy-covered cockpit reserved for pilot and co-pilot.

Regrettably, soon after take-off, the 64-year-old man unintentionally ejected himself while flying in the Dassault Rafale jet. At the time of his quick exit, the jet was travelling at over 500km/h (320mph) and was flying at an altitude of 760 metres (2,500 feet).

According to reports, the force of the fighter jet’s take-off caused the man to instinctively bolt upright. As the luckless passenger did so, he carelessly grabbed the jet’s ejection lever to steady himself.

Spectacular fail! As he did so, the co-pilot’s canopy snapped open. The ill-fated passenger then shot out of the aircraft in a spectacular display that would have earned a round of applause from Batman and Superman.

Sadly, one failure was not enough. Caught up in the excitement of experiencing his first flight in a fighter jet, the unwitting co-pilot had also failed to securely attach his helmet, losing it mid-air, which worsened his situation to near critical.

According to investigators, as he boarded the aircraft, ‘his heart was in full tachycardia’, ranging from 136 to 142 beats per minute even before the incident. All things being equal, the ill-fated passenger was a little unprepared for the take-off.

The unfortunate passenger’s parachute, however, saved his life. The man managed to land without sustaining any serious injuries. He was taken to the hospital afterwards. The pilot also avoided a catastrophe, finishing the flight safely.

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The man did not plan the flight himself. Employees of his firm arranged it as a nice surprise birthday gift. They organised the send-off with aircraftsmen based at the Saint-Dizier Airbase. It never occurred to anyone to ask the fighter jet pilot where he thought his passenger had disappeared to.

Schadenfreude is a German term that translates into deriving humour from another man’s misfortune. I am sure no one reading this story is experiencing Schadenfreude.

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH ,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH:  JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS ,   The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 30 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor  BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS.

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Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging  DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER 

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BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 64 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW  www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com