I guess Bill O'Reilly and John Stewart went at it last night. They had a debate - A gifted comic genius and an ego on steroids. John Stewart is brilliant. Bill O'Reilly has a massive following. Politically, I might be closer to O'Reilly, but that is about it. I don't get the guy. John Stewart on the other hand has a mind like a Swiss CPA and good humor and comic timing of a Chicago Homicide Detective. I imagine John Stewart mopped the floor with Bloviating Bill. Eighty four years ago, two literary giants went tusk to tusk in London George Bernard Shaw and GK Chesterton. Read the debate. I am going to see a dramatic presentation of this event this afternoon at the Provision Theatre* ( 1001 West Roosevelt Road). The conclusion by the moderator, Hilaire Belloc is the pay-off. Mr. Belloc scored the only real hit in the verbal combat with his prophetic analysis of the end of the industrial age.MR. BELLOC: I was told when I accepted this onerous office that I was to sum up. I shall do nothing of the sort. In a very few years from now this debate will be antiquated. I will now recite you a poem: "Our civilization Is built upon coal. Let us chant in rotation Our civilization That lump of damnation Without any soul, Our civilization Is built upon coal. "In a very few years, It will float upon oil. Then give three hearty cheers, In a very few years We shall mop up our tears And have done with our toil. In a very few years It will float upon oil." In I do not know how many years--five, ten, twenty--this debate will be as antiquated as crinolines are. I am surprised that neither of the two speakers pointed out that one of three things is going to happen. One of three things: not one of two. It is always one of three things. This industrial civilization which, thank God, oppresses only the small part of the world in which we are most inextricably bound up, will break down and therefore end from its monstrous wickedness, folly, ineptitude, leading to a restoration of sane, ordinary human affairs, complicated but based as a whole upon the freedom of the citizens. Or it will break down and lead to nothing but a desert. Or it will lead the mass of men to become contented slaves, with a few rich men controlling them. Take your choice. You will all be dead before any of the three things comes off. One of the three things is going to happen, or a mixture of two, or possibly a mixture of the three combined. (emphases my own)After finally watching the Obama/Romney debate which I recorded, I re-read the above.
Mitt Romney gets what Belloc spoke about, especially his fifteen words about using clean coal as a path to relieving some of our economic burden. The day after the debate, I read where coal stocks soared on the markets. President Barack Obama fully embraces the words of Belloc that I emphasized in dark ink.
|Shaw vs. Chesterton: The Debate|