Sunday, April 30, 2017

#120 / Worth Repeating

I enjoyed a "Weekend Confidential" article in the April 22nd-23rd edition of The Wall Street Journal. The article was all about Samsung's new Galaxy S8 smartphone, about Samsung's recent marketing efforts, and about Marc Mathieu (pictured above), who is Samsung's Chief Marketing Officer. If you are interested in these topics, click the links!

I mention this article because in his discussion with Wall Street Journal reporter Alexandra Wolfe,  Mathieu quoted George Bernard Shaw, and I thought Shaw's words were worth repeating. I am betting that many who may read this blog posting do not, very often, spend their Saturday mornings browsing through the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Such folks will have missed a little dose of satire by Shaw that contains an important truth.

Incidentally, in the same paper, columnist Peggy Noonan urged Republicans to "learn the limits of loyalty," and to stop defending the often crazy tweets fired off by our current president (good advice, in my opinion). In the course of dishing out that advice to Republicans, Noonan made the case for those who do browse The Journal's news and opinion columns, suggesting that The Wall Street Journal is the nation's best newspaper, since Noonan referred to The New York Times, the Journal's "chief competitor," as "the second-greatest newspaper in America."

Marketing claims aside, let me quote Marc Mathieu quoting Shaw (from Man and Superman):

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Slightly modified (to account for the "individuality" bias that has crept into Shaw's phrasing), these remarks certainly echo my own thoughts about political possibility (and John Lennon's, too, if any reader wants to think of John Lennon as a political advisor). 

Any politics worth pursuing rejects the idea that the purpose of politics is to adapt our collective actions to the world as it currently presents itself to us. Any worthwhile politics makes "unreasonable demands."

Shaw's observation is worth remembering. It's worth repeating. Considered as "advisory," it's advice worth taking!

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