February 28, 2011

The art of the formal boast

Wu is a master of the formal boast.

When current events allow, I've been amusing myself here lately by taking a look at the old Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, which holds up better than one might think. You'll also find links and comments about current events below.

Here's one thing I've gotten out of several recent readings: if you want to be a hero like Beowulf, there are certain things you have to be able to do. Having the strength of 30 men is a big help, as is experience in slaying monsters of the land and sea variety.

But those traits, as worthy as they no doubt are, are not enough. To do things right from the beginning, one has to be the master of the art of the formal boast. This isn't exactly bragging, which is often just a matter of words. It has to be backed up by previous glorious deeds, a serious intent to carry out the matter boasted about, and (one would hope) a successful outcome.

To do it right, you must (not necessarily in the following order):

*State who you are, including your glorious family lineage (note: it helps to have one);

*Refer at some length to the mighty deeds you have already done (it helps to have some); and

*State, as specifically and in as much detail as possible, exactly what you intend to do and to whom you intend to do it.

It's a lot cooler than the modern practice of sending in a resume or writing a proposal.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM when it comes to federal spending is discussed here.

CUTTING KIDS. Paul Krugman argues that children will bear the brunt of cuts in public spending.

NOT GOING QUIETLY. Labor protests against union busting continued in Wisconsin and around the country over the weekend.

WV HISTORY. Here's a review of an interesting book by a friend of mine on post-WWII WV history.


1 comment:

hollowdweller said...

There was a great special on Spain a while back. How they collapsed under the weight of trying to maintain too large an empire.

There is a really great article similar to the one you cited on Politico this week. Check it out.

PS thanks for the animal pic!