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Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.
I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.
If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it --
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"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
THE BULLDOG. Two of the most contradictory men I've ever had deeply mixed feelings about and opinions of, with admiration winning out, but having to fight a major fight to triumph over some loathing and horror (both being fairly racist, for one thing), but most of all have always been fascinated by, both because of the contradictions, and the huge scale of their lives (as well as way with words), are Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
I've read innumerable biographies of both, as well as major parts of their multitude of writings, ever since childhood.
No great man, they say, is a hero to his valet. A bodyguard, who oversees his charge pitilessly night and day, might be expected to have a yet lower opinion. Walter Thompson, a protection officer from Scotland Yard, spent almost 18 years guarding Winston Churchill, from 1921 to 1945, with a break in the 1930s. His presence was so constant that, as he ruefully admitted, he became a "perpetual annoyance" to Churchill's wife, Clementine.
He was outside the door of every room her husband was in. He ate and slept at the Churchills' houses in London and at Chartwell in Kent, and then at Downing Street and in their Blitz-proof quarters in the annexe. He travelled with "the Old Man" so often that his own marriage was wrecked, protecting him from potential assassins, helping him through "the Black Dog" of his depressions, caring for him when he was ill and near death. In the war, as Thompson pointed out, he spent more time with Churchill than "any other human being", Clemmie included. She did not like it, sometimes making this clear by not feeding him.
Officialdom did not like it either, when it came to Thompson's memoirs. He had almost completed them by June 30, 1945. Churchill had just ceased to be prime minister., and Thompson was about to retire from the police. Downing Street and the police commissioner, Sir Harold Scott, agreed it would be "quite improper" for him to publish material "for some considerable time to come". Thompson's meagre pension, £353 12s a year, could be forfeit if he went ahead. He anyway had to supplement it — he collected rents for New Romney council and worked in pest control — and the threat was enough.
He became a minor celebrity, lecturing on his years with Churchill and writing more or less expurgated reminiscences, published in Britain and the United States. He died in 1979. His full, unpublished memoirs, running to 350,000 words, were found in the loft of a Somerset farmhouse by his great-niece Linda Stoker, and form the background to a new television series, and a book, Churchill's Bodyguard, to be published on November 7.
So many fascinating quotes, I have to fight the temptation to quote nearly all.
As Churchill built a sandcastle for his children on the beach at Frinton-on-Sea, Thompson witnessed one boot and sock being soaked by a mischievous wave. Churchill plunged the other boot into the sea. "Well, Thompson," he said. "We must treat them both alike."
Driving back from Buckingham Palace in 1940, after the king had asked Churchill to form a government, Thompson congratulated him on the "enormous task" he had undertaken. "God alone knows how great it is," Churchill replied. "All I hope is that it is not too late. I am very much afraid it is, but we can only do our best." Tears welled in his eyes. He was 66.
Thompson thought he looked it — "he walked with a conspicuous stoop... most of his hair had gone... his cheeks were pouchy" — and at this supreme moment Thompson sensed his uncertainty. But he muttered and set his jaw, "never again at any time" to express such doubt.
Thompson asked if he thought Hitler had committed suicide. "That is the way I should have expected him to have died," he said. "That is what I would have done under the same circumstances." On VE Day he sent Thompson back to get his cigars before greeting the crowds. "They expect it of me," he said, the showman to the fore.
Their first trip together was to the Middle East. Jews were pitted against Arabs in Palestine, and nationalists demanded independence in Egypt. The party was accompanied by T E Lawrence, whose success in throwing the Turks out of Arabia had created the uneasy vacuum Churchill sought to fill.
Talk about wanting to be a fly on the wall!
As their liner came alongside in Alexandria, the clamour of the crowd on the dockside reached "a veritable crescendo of fury" as it caught sight of Churchill coming down the gangplank. To avoid riots, Thompson had to smuggle Churchill out of his hotel and onto King Fuad's royal train for the trip to Cairo.
Word was soon out, though, and every window on one side of the train was smashed by a mob as it slowed down for a level crossing. Churchill sat calmly smoking a cigar as stones whizzed through his carriage. In Cairo, Russell Pasha, founder of the Camel Corps and head of the Egyptian police, added to Lawrence's warnings. "Churchill is in great danger," he told Thompson. "Trust nobody, black or white."
The hapless policeman ran into Churchill's disregard for his own safety. Thinking him tucked up in his room, Thompson was shocked to find his charge had left the hotel alone and on foot. He looked out into the teeming streets, in vain. He found Churchill leaving Field Marshal Allenby's house, with a naughty smile, and laid into him. "Look, sir, we can't have this," he stormed. "You're making my job impossible."
He feared he'd gone too far. But Churchill was softness itself. In future, he said, he'd do all he could to help his bodyguard. "We're just beginning to understand each other," he added. It was, Thompson said, "my first experience of anything approaching intimacy with him". A camel-borne excursion to the tombs at Saqqara brought a painful introduction to the bulldog side of the Churchillian character. Churchill soon fell off, to Lawrence of Arabia's amusement. "I started on a camel and I'll finish on a camel," Churchill growled, and remounted.
As the entourage moved on by train to Gaza and Jerusalem, Russell Pasha said they were moving "into a climate of unclassifiable fanaticism". Churchill's fanatical love of a hot bath came first. He demanded one as the train swayed slowly through the desert. Thompson unearthed an old hip bath in the baggage car, but could find no water. "You're slipping, Thompson," said Churchill. "I thought you were a man of intelligence." He had Thompson stop the train and climbed down to the track in a brightly coloured dressing gown. The tub was set up in the desert, and the engine driver drew hot water from the boiler. Churchill "smiled up at the engine crew, stripped naked and fitted himself into the bath". When done, he "sauntered, pink and clean" back to his carriage.
A large and restive crowd, seemingly "Gaza in its entirety", awaited them. They were muttering "Down with the Jews" and "Cut their throats,"
I assume they were enraged by Israel's conquest of the West Bank. Or maybe it was the simple existence of Israel itself that angered them.
but Lawrence stilled them with a few words, and the crowd parted to let them through, some prostrating themselves in front of him. Churchill said to Thompson: "They worship him."
Jerusalem was tense. Churchill zoomed off anywhere that caught his fancy, into souks and alleys. Thompson feared "I would never get this man back home alive". But he noticed that Churchill was visibly moved at Bethlehem and the holy places. Beneath the rough shield of the politician, he thought, was "a sensitive, sentimental and humorous interior... The truth was that he was one of those dynamic persons whose original ways need getting used to". Fresh back from Jerusalem, Churchill's name headed a list of assassination targets found on an IRA man. As he drove through Hyde Park one morning, two men were spotted signalling to a third in a clump of trees. "If they want trouble, they can have it," Churchill said. Thompson, feeling it "not part of my duty to pander to his desire for a hand-to-hand scrap in Hyde Park", drew his gun, told the chauffeur to drive like the devil, and shielded Churchill with his body. "Don't ever do that again!" Churchill shouted.
He promised his wife that he would go to bed safely in the bomb-proof basement of the annexe. Thompson watched him meekly descend, get into bed, and as promptly get out again. "I have kept my promise to Mrs Churchill," he said. "I came downstairs to bed, but now I am going upstairs to sleep."
During the bouts of bricklaying that filled any idle moments at Chartwell — he was proud of his walls, not realising they were so crooked that Thompson and a builder rebuilt them when he went off to lunch — Thompson thought it typical that he laid the mortar on not with a trowel, but a shovel.
He had a penchant, too, for shedding his clothes and wandering about naked. Roosevelt discovered him so at the White House. "You see, Mr President," he said, unabashed, "I have nothing whatever to hide from you."
That one I've heard before. Okay, and the one about going to bed, too; but maybe you've not.
In Moscow, Thompson warned him that his room was almost certainly bugged. Churchill stamped the floor and said: "This is Winston Churchill speaking. If you have microphones in my room it is a waste of time. I do not talk in my sleep."
Whatever one thinks of the man, they don't seem to make many like him these days. At least, they don't elect them to office. Imagine Tony Blair running from the Boers!