Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More Library-Book Thieves: George Washington

Now all of us who confessed to "never returning" library books can feel even more less alone.
Kellie alerted me to the recent news that George Washington has racked up $300,000 in fines for two never-returned library books, borrowed in 1789 from New York Society Library.

But I'm afraid we're not in very good moral company.
I mean, I knew Parson Weems made up the cherry tree story, but geez...

Here, listen to what Washington told his Seneca ally, Tanaghrisson, to get him to support British efforts to drive the French off native lands:

"[The] only motive of our conduct is to put you again in possession of your lands, and to dispossess the French, to maintain your rights and to secure the whole country for you." *

Talk about a whopper. Not only was it untrue in general (as Tanaghrisson probably knew),
but in specific, at that time Washington himself had money in a land speculation company that wanted to get its hands on these profitable lands.

There are good things you can say about George. Relentlessly honest is not one of them.

* Quoted in Alan Axelrod, Blooding at Great Meadows (2007), p. 161

3 comments:

Margaret said...

I wonder if even Honest Abe never snatched a good book. . . .

Bad form, George. Very bad form.
For some reason I want to say "that's why he was the goddamn captain", but this is way worse than violating the Prime Directive.

BTW: Watched Search for Spock (which, seemed to me, was mostly about Kirk), and - yep: It's a love story.

Fresca said...

Well, yes, his ability to... fudge, shall we say, certainly is a skill in a political leader.
Like Kirk's Corbomite maneuver.

I think I like the Search for Spock BECAUSE it's mostly about Kirk.
Of course I would. : )

Margaret said...

Yes. Never too much Kirk. I just thought the title misleading. It IS a search for Spock, but's it's JIM'S search for Spock, and only concerns Spock so far as he's the object of Kirk's love.

His mind meld scene with Sarek; his little "Spock", then the "oh" - I died.

Something that also killed me, in quite the opposite way:
"I....have HAD....enoughof YEW!"