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When Did Our Wit Get So Dull?

Posted by Bob · May 7th, 2004 · No Comments

Give me liberty or give me death — Patrick Henry

I have a whole bag of shush right here with your name on it. — Doctor Evil

One of these quotes shares a vision, empowers its listeners and, even if you disagree, you respect the eloquence of the thought.

The other tells your listener that they have no opinion, they are unworthy of inclusion in the debate. Or perhaps we cannot compete, we have nothing to add, we have lost.

When did we lose the ability to outwit our opponent?

When did ignorance overpower creative thought?

I think its time to learn from the master …

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. — Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill could offend in the most eloquent of language. He was a gifted orator and writer but his wit was his first and best weapon.

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill

Consider how you would feel if a barb so perfectly formed were aimed at you. Would you react with a ‘shut up’ or would you dig deep to find your eloquence, your repartee?

I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents. — Sir Winston Churchill

Don’t get me wrong, Sir Winston was a brawler.

One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. — Sir Winston Churchill

He never turned from a fight. But it’s HOW he fought that makes him remarkable. He would try to engage you on his turf, his gentleman’s vocabulary with a longshoreman’s intent.

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. — Sir Winston Churchill, Speech at Harvard University, September 6, 1943

The words we use to defend and deflect are used by others to judge our sensibility and sanity, our intellect and integrity.

The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning. — Sir Winston Churchill

What greater victory is there in debate as to silence your opponent with reason and eloquence? When did our fear strip our sense?

There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half of them are true. — Sir Winston Churchill

Facts and genuine sources should start the fight but …

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. — Sir Winston Churchill

…wit drives the point home, much like a knife to the heart. It disables your opponent and demoralizes them for the fight….

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. — Sir Winston Churchill

… and their silence is golden.

Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. — Sir Winston Churchill

Of course, losing a fight to a better wit hurts like hell but …

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. — Sir Winston Churchill

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. — Sir Winston Churchill

And should you win the fight, even in your arrogance, wit makes it sound so profound!

It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. — Sir Winston Churchill

We have freedom of speech, given to us by those who came before us with vision and valor, given to our children by sacred sacrifice.

Perhaps reason will be heard over rhetoric here in our own political system. Perhaps not ….

Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room. — Sir Winston Churchill

… but I would never want to held up as the example of an unarmed man in a battle of wits.

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes. — Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

And if you end up on the losing end of your best efforts …

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me. — Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

..have a drink and come back tomorrow. We’ve all been there.

Categories: Social Issues


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