Sunday, October 18, 2015
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY TO OSCAR WILDE
The local Presbyterian Church had aphorisms posted on its outdoor bulletin board weekly. The Reverend W. Darrell Holmes' name (the "W" was probably used to distinguish him from all the other Reverend Darrell Holmeses!) was also prominently posted. One Monday I noticed that one of my favorite quotes by Oscar Wilde was posted:
"A cynic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."
The quote was displayed on the bulletin board but with no attribution. I called "The Reverend W. Darrell" and asked him why he hadn't attributed the quote to Wilde as I thought it was important to educate people. "The Reverend W. Darrell" told me that he didn't think it was important. I did not like his dismissive attitude and since I am an ornery cuss I said, "I thought it might be because he was gay and went to prison for sodomy."
"The Reverend W. Darrell" said archly, "Well, I didn't know that." I asked him, "Will you post the attribution before the week is out?" He said that he would. The quote was taken down the next day!
I sent "The Reverend W. Darrell" a note to let him know of my disappointment of his not keeping the Wilde quote on the bulletin board for the week and I ended my note with this quote from Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol":
"Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword."
For some reason "The Reverend W. Darrell" did not respond!