As is well-known, God helps those who help themselves, which renders God’s help rather superfluous. Now, let us consider an apposite God, one who is committed to helping exactly those who do not help themselves. We bear in mind that, unlike Russell’s barber, who is free to shrug off as impossible his duty to shave those, and only those, who do not shave themselves, the perfection of God requires that he actually do everything he is committed to do. Then is our God under obligation to help Himself?
(Originally published on 20 January 1993.)
Crossposted to larvatus and philosophy.
The manor house at Tsinandali, just outside the city of Telavi in eastern Georgia, is a small masterpiece of local design. Continue reading putin’s list
Thus quoth Hermione Eyre in The Dictionary of National Celebrity, co-authored and inspired by Willie Donaldson:
Fry, Stephen (b.1960). Stupid person’s idea of a clever person.
Hilton, Paris (b.1981). Looks like a shivering whippet dipped in bleach. She is the great-granddaughter of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton and grand- niece of Nicholas Conrad Hilton (Elizabeth Taylor’s first husband). In November 2003 a private video of Miss Hilton locked into a variety of strangely unimaginative sexual positions with her boyfriend, Rick Solomon, was circulated on the internet. Her father was highly embarrassed, as was natural; the video was filmed in the top suite at the Marriott Hotel. Happily, family harmony has been restored.
Lawson, Nigella (b.1960). To make this tasty TV chef, follow these simple steps. Take one prominent Conservative MP and one Jewish heiress, and breed. Give the child a funny name, and watch it simmer with resentment. Do not be alarmed when it goes lumpy and left wing while an Oxford undergraduate. Give it a few more years and it will become curvaceous and wildly interested in cupcakes. Dress in tight-fitting womanly twinsets, add a little tongue-flicking sauce and a hint of self-parody, and serve once a week on the television. Healthy audience appetites guaranteed.
Thompson, Emma (b.1961). Unaffected luvvie. Expressions she uses on set to prove she’s one of the chaps: ‘Oh fuckity fuck!’ ‘Oh lorks! I’ve just come on!’ ‘Crikey Moses! My knickers have gone up my crack!’
Many such gems can be found in a biography of Donaldson by Terence Blacker, as reviewed in the TLS by David Sexton, the literary editor of Evening Standard.