SHEDNOTES 62: Over to Will Rogers

The Shed has much painting and screwdriving on the go, for discussion later, and for the moment, is handing over its political commentary obligations to the great Will Rogers.
The Shed became interested in Rogers, a massively influential commentator and reporter, comedian, actor and all-round star of 1920s and 1930s America, through the recommendation of an Elmore Leonard character – quote to follow, probably from The Hot Kid.
The wisdom of at least one Rogers joke has been mathematically proven.
During the Great Depression, Rogers observed: “When the Okies left Oklahoma and moved to California, they raised the average intelligence in both states.”
There was a bit of a row about the comment but statisticians said the Will Rogers Phenomenon, sometimes called the Will Rogers Paradox (possibly not really a paradox:do discuss), did happen, and it has since become an important element in public health calculations, don’t ask how.
We found a Rogers fan explaining valiantly: “It happens when transferring something from one grouping to another somehow raises the average quality level for both groupings. The most common example is moving an entry from an encyclopedia to a dictionary. Even the shortest encyclopedia entry tends to be longer than a dictionary definition. Taking one of the shortest encyclopedia entries out of the encyclopedia will raise the average length of encyclopedia entries by eliminating the short entries that drag down the average. Putting it into the dictionary, where it comparatively long, will raise the average dictionary definition.”
Rogers may have been the first man to say that diplomacy was the art of saying nice doggy until you could find a rock, but it’s disputed. He did famously say words to the effect that he had never met a man he didn’t like once he understood him a bit and he thought he was right to be like that.
His niece, Paula McSpadden Love, wrote The Will Rogers Book, which recalled …
Lord, the money we do spend on Government and it’s not one bit better than the government we got for one-third the money twenty years ago.
A chapter on The Manly Wisdom of Will Rogers in Nina Colman’s Friars Club Bible of Jokes, Pokes, Roasts, and Toasts‬, offered
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
morelater …

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