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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Monday, August 20, 2007

O imitators, you slavish herd!

In a summer issue of Reflections, Al Maxey wrote:

Charles Colton (1780-1832) once observed, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." There is some degree of truth to that statement. On the other hand, it can simply reflect an inability or unwillingness to think or act independently. There are times when it is the path of wisdom to walk in the steps of those who have successfully led the way; there are other times, though, when it is simply a reflection of what is sometimes characterized as "herd mentality." Horace (65-8 B.C.), for example, wrote: "O imitators, you slavish herd!" Shakespeare (1564-1616), in his play[,] King Richard II, spoke disparagingly of the manners and customs of Italy, which "our tardy apish nation limps after in base imitation." This is hardly a flattering portrayal, but it often depicts the reality of those whose minds gravitate toward mimicry.

When I returned from a recent trip (deliberately timed such that I would be away during NDP NPD — National Propaganda Day), I was tickled by a gross irony in the ads for a re-telecast of the National Day Parade: the soundtrack of the television advertisement was shamelessly lifted from the score of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings" (specifically the ending section of Track 13, "The Bridge of Khazad Dun").

And these are the same people sheeple bleating about teaching creativity in schools.

Elia Diodati also penned an interesting piece for this annual day of self-delusion and propaganda, Happy Anachronism Day.

Personally, I prefer Reinhold Messner's terseness:

Nature is the only ruler. I shit on flags.

Get over yourselves.

Related post:

My post for National Propaganda Day 2007.


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