Fun_People Updates 11/1/98
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 98 00:40:35 -0800
Subject: Fun_People Updates 11/1/98
Fun_People Updates 11/1/98
Here are a few responses/comments relating to recent Fun_People postings...
Re: Politics as Usual
Forwarded-by: Bill Tomczak <email@example.com>
Subject: Happy Holidays
Q: What do you call eight days of oral sex?
A: Hanukkah Lewinsky
Re: Maestro Eugene Ormandy
From: "Stephen Nelson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I believe this is an Ormandyism. Unfortunately, I do not have a reference
to verify both that is from Ormandy and that the quote is exactly correct,
so use at your own risk:
Spoken to a female cellist: "Madam, that instrument between your legs was
created for pleasure. Please use it that way."
Re: NT 5.0 to be named Windows 2000
From: adam cavan <email@example.com>
i have always hoped there would be a version named
which would be pronounced as
Re: If you give a man a ...
From: Chris Norloff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day.
If you teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat all day and drink beer."
Subject: The Lincoln quote may be a hoax
From: "Volokh, Eugene" <VOLOKH@mail.law.ucla.edu>
I thought I'd mention that the Lincoln quote you sent out might
well be a hoax . . . . See the following newspaper story:
February 12, 1995, METRO FINAL
SECTION: FORUM; Pg. FO6
LENGTH: 1534 words
HEADLINE: CLEANING UP THE MYTHS ABOUT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
BYLINE: Martin D. Tullai, Special to The Bee
ABRAHAM LINCOLN once told William Herndon, his third law partner,
"Biographies as generally written are not only misleading but false."
As America marks the 186th year since the birth of our most written-about
and best-known president (Feb. 12, 1809), it is interesting to note that he
might well have been speaking about himself. For the road to Lincoln
learning is strewn with false claims, spurious reminiscences and fraudulent
If Lincoln were aware of how his words have been misused and abused he
would be amazed. In a book devoted to false quotations, Lincoln's would
surely take up the largest chapter. In 1950, two pages of bogus Lincoln
quotations were inserted into the "Congressional Record."
The following, regarded as one of the most notorious, was actually first
used in the 1880s:
I see in the near future a crisis that unnerves me, and causes me to
tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have
been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the
money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working
upon the prejudices of the people until all the wealth is aggregated in a
few hands and the republic destroyed.
BUT JUST as his words have been distorted or fabricated to serve
different purposes, so have myths developed about other aspects of our 16th
How about the impression that:
* Lincoln was our only "Log Cabin" president. Not quite. Presidents
Jackson, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan and Garfield can also claim this
kind of background.
* As a boy, Lincoln did his reading at night by the light of the
fireplace. Not if his stepmother is to be believed. She said, "He didn't
read after night much, went to bed early, got up early and then read."
* He was regularly called "Abe" and enjoyed the name. Actually, according
to Stephen B. Oates, a recent biographer, nobody called him "Abe" to his
face. "He loathed the nickname. There was something about his origin that
he never cared to dwell on." Incidentally, you will never come across a
document signed "Abe Lincoln." It will be either "A. Lincoln" or "Abraham
* Jefferson Davis, the future president of the Confederacy signed him in
during the Black Hawk War (1832). There's something tantalizingly ironical
about this, but it didn't happen. If it makes folks feel better, Lt. Robert
Anderson did sign him in on his second tour. This is the same Robert
Anderson who as Maj. Anderson will surrender Fort Sumter to the Confederacy
* Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope on the
train to Gettysburg. Actually, no writing was done on the train. It was too
bumpy a ride to permit writing, with or without an envelope. Lincoln drafted
it on executive letterhead as befitted the dignity of the Gettysburg
* Since our 16th president could deliver such masterpieces as the Cooper
Union speech, the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural address, it
shows he could deliver a terrific speech at any time. Wrong. Lincoln was
"a poor extemporaneous speaker -- he needed a script to be eloquent," says
one historian. A contemporary noted that "Mr. Lincoln was not a successful
impromptu speaker. He required time for thought and arrangement of the thing
to be said." Lincoln scholar Richard Current has declared, "His
long-remembered sayings were written and re-written with meticulous
revisions ahead of time."
* He told a visiting temperance committee who urged the firing of Gen.
Grant because he drank too much whiskey: "Well, I wish some of you would
tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a
barrel of it to every one of my other generals." It didn't happen. When
Lincoln was asked if the story was true, he said, "No, I didn't happen to
say it -- but it's a good story, a hardy perennial. I've traced that story
back to George II and James Wolfe. When certain persons complained that
Wolfe was mad, George said, "I wish he'd bite some of the others.'"
* Lincoln's true love was Ann Rutledge, not the woman he married, Mary
Todd. Despite William Herndon's attempts to foist this on the public through
his lectures and the book he wrote with Jesse W. Weik, it is unproven. No
evidence has ever surfaced to indicate anything but a platonic relationship.
No modern reputable Lincoln scholar accepts the story. One of them, James
G. Randall sums it up: "There is no thoroughly verified utterance by
Lincoln, written or oral, in which Ann Rutledge is even mentioned, though
one finds Lincoln's own statements concern women whom he knew in this period
-- namely, Sarah Rickard and Mary Owens."
* Lincoln was "a kind of homespun Socrates who disclaimed material
In truth, the real Lincoln was a man of substantial wealth. At the time
of his marriage in 1842, he was earning $ 1,200 a year. Not bad when
compared with the governor's salary of $ 1,200 and the $ 750 received by
Circuit Court judges. In the mid-1850s, his yearly earnings reached $ 5,000.
By 1860, he had $ 15,000 invested in various interests.
While his fees varied, the heavy volume of cases made for a lucrative
practice. But he did receive the exceptionally high fee of $ 5,000 in one
case and $ 2,000 in another.
At his death, Lincoln left an estate of $ 83,343, which was increased by
his administrators to $ 110,974, exclusive of real estate.
* Lincoln's assassination was greeted with joy throughout the South.
Perhaps some diehards exulted, but many knowledgeable and influential
Southerners saw it differently.
Mrs. James Chesnut, Jr. called it "simply maddening" and felt it would
increase their problems. Respected General Joseph E. Johnston declared, "Mr.
Lincoln was the best friend we had," and viewed the assassination as "the
greatest possible calamity to the South." Jefferson Davis was also saddened
by the tragedy. He saw the South losing the benefit of Lincoln's
"generosity" -- a trait he did not see in Andrew Johnson.
Robert E. Lee, who regretted Lincoln's death as much as anyone in the
North, indicated he had surrendered to Lincoln's goodness as much as to
Re: Consumer-product diversity now exceeds biodiversity.
It's not only funny & sad, it's uncredited. Yup, it's
another one forwarded from The Onion without attribution.
[Oop. Sorry, Onion. I'll get to recognize the style eventually, even if I
keep getting Onion stuff with the credit stripped. And thanks for pointing
it out, John. -psl]
Re: Politics as Usual
From: Jef Jaisun <email@example.com>
"Clinton just left a stain on a dress. Nixon left it on the Constitution."
-- David Oaks
© 1998 Peter Langston