Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Against Stupidity, Zod Himself Contends in Vain

Pictured: The Maid of Orleans

The Urkobold notes with approval that one of his minions quoted Schiller over at Hit & Run in reference to this election. Why do Americans keep voting for terrible candidates, keep ceding more and more power to the government, keep allowing their freedoms to slip away? Because they're stupid and stupid is, in the end, more powerful than not-stupid. But Schiller said it better in his Jungfrau von Orleans: "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen die Götter selbst vergebens." Normally, the Urkobold distains translations, but as the Weibskobold has marked the occasion of this posting by wearing a French maid outfit, the Urkobold is feeling magnanimous. Here's the whole passage:
Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain.
Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurbed steed,
Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
To the fool-king belongs the world.
Congratulation to the new Fool-King, whoever he is, and to all of the little fool-kings who voted for him.

***Update***
Congratulation to the new Fool-King, Barack Obama, and to all of the little fool-kings who voted for him.

7 comments:

smacky said...

Hey German crap appeals to me, too.


Amazing post. This is why you are the Troll of Trolls.

Pro Libertate said...

The Urkobold is my hero.

I can't remember who started the "German crap" tag, but I think it was highnumber. You'll have to file a request at corporate to have the tag amended. Be sure to get your request notarized.

smacky said...

The blink tag makes Schiller look more poetic, I think.

Urkobold™ said...

THE BLINK TAG IS A POWERFUL WEAPON IN THE URKOBOLD'S ARSENAL. YET HIT & RUN REFUSES TO ALLOW THE URKOBOLD TO UTILIZE THIS POTENT DEVICE! LITIGATION MAY WELL ENSUE.

AS AN ASIDE, THE URKOBOLD NOTES THAT THE PICTURED "MAID OF ORLEANS" LOOKS ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE JOAN D'ARC, WHO THE URKOBOLD KNEW BIBLICALLY WHILE SHE WAS IN CAPTIVITY. IT WAS HER GRAVITY-GENERATING RACK THAT DEFEATED THE ENGLISH, NOT HER RELIGIOUS ZEAL.

Pro Libertate said...

smacky,

I don't recall seeing the full Schiller passage before. I've seen the "against stupidity" line used in a few places--first in Asimov's The Gods Themselves and, oddly, when I took the LSAT--but it's usually just noted in isolation. I like the "To the fool-king belongs the world" line, too.

General Zod said...

Zod can attest to this, personally. Zod indeed does contend in vain against the stupid. Even Zod's vast Kryptonian powers cannot overcome the patently foolish.

BakedPenguin said...

Hmm. Pehaps Urkobold should start selling translations of the Maid of Orleans illustrated with pictures like that.

I would expect unreasonable economic profit.