The resident faculty left a World War I-era cartoon outside the mail room this morning. The staff think we understand the clue…. (More)

“Ooh, I bet Chef knows this one,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said as he looked at the photo left by the resident faculty as they made their way from the wine cellar library, where they spent the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”), to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference.

“Are you saying I’m old enough to remember World War I?” Chef asked as she brought out the decoder ring.

 photo SquirrelPecanRing.jpeg

“Oops,” the Squirrel tapped on his Blewberry with a glance at the Professor of Astrology Janitor.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor swallowed. “Is that one of those trick questions, like ‘Does this dress make me look younger?'”

“You’re not supposed to know that,” Chef said, chuckling as she scraped stray pecans into the Squirrel’s bowl. “Trick questions don’t work if you recognize them.”

“So I avoided the trick?” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked.

“Better than most politicians have after the tragedy in Paris,” Chef said. She looked at the Squirrel. “That is what the clue means, right?”

The Squirrel nodded and tapped at his Blewberry. “This week the resident faculty will ponder terrorism, David Wong’s concept of ‘Team Violence,’ and the absurd idea that people will stop lashing out in rage if we just kill enough of them.”

“It’s like the Gandhi quote, ‘An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind,'” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said.

Chef held up a finger. “Actually, there is no evidence he ever said or wrote that phrase. The earliest recorded use of that idea was by a member of the Canadian Parliament, in a debate on the death penalty. Spiritual writer Henry Powell Spring used a similar phrase in 1944, and biographer Louis Fischer used both it in his 1947 book Gandhi and Stalin and again in his 1950 book The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. While Fischer didn’t attribute the phrase to Gandhi, Fischer’s books linked that phrase with Gandhi and later writers like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. cemented the faulty attribution. And Gandhi’s family later said he approved of the phrase, even if he never actually said or wrote it.”

“In other words,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked, “I was right even though I was wrong?”

Chef chuckled. “I think that’s another trick question.”

We think so too.


Note: Please share your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week.


Photo Credit: John F. Knott, 1918 (Wikimedia)


Happy Monday!