Écrasez l’Infâme

1. Now it is Hallowe’en and I have a pumpkin and a black Cat. I admire the Cat who admires Birds; we both dislike Rats. We are lighting candles, pouring out rum for the saints, and reading Voltaire.

2. In news, Shakespeare’s Sister has an excellently reasoned critique of Clinton and Obama that everyone should read. I know about it thanks to the Redstar Perspective. And WoC PhD points out that Dodd does not think immigrants should have driver’s licenses.

3. Zuky, meanwhile, recommends electing Cynthia McKinney on the Green ticket, a very interesting idea. And Kyle Janna has a beautiful post about living under the trees.

4. I wore red today but I wear red every Wednesday. And Prison Radio sent me a postcard about Mumia Abu-Jamal and it had a Macintosh apple on it along with Apple’s favorite phrase “Think Different.” Is he now sponsored by Apple Computer? If so, is this not postmodern?

5. Having at last understood it, I am still amazed by Reeducation. To have an ordered personal life was controlling. So was taking charge of your career. To be able to put things in perspective was unfeeling. Confidence was arrogance. One’s own perceptions were necessarily wrong and one’s own decisions, ill-advised.

6. All of these precepts are enormous errors; they are also oddly reminiscent of the slogans of Big Brother. I dislike all slogans except those to which I am spontaneously attracted, such as Freedom Now and Écrasez l’Infâme.

7. Écrasez l’infâme is currently my favorite phrase. From WikiQuote, that “unreliable source” which I nevertheless like:

  • Quoi que vous fassiez, écrasez l’infâme, et aimez qui vous aime.
  • 1762 letter to Jean d’Alembert; written in reference to crushing superstition; the words “écrasez l’infâme” became a motto strongly identified with Voltaire.


11 thoughts on “Écrasez l’Infâme

  1. Yeah, I had the same impression. It’s hilarious! Did you see the one about the “African American”? And the other one that said that drivers in Perth are pulled over if they use the right lane? And the other one that said, “I was in a business suit, so why couldn’t I be given the benefit of the doubt regarding my shopping basket?” Funny, funny stuff.

  2. Profacero!!

    Always great to get a link from you but I just wanted to let you know that the post you linked to above was not written by me, but the newest contributor to Citizen Orange, janna. Just thought I’d let you know.

  3. Note that some Christians believe that &lquo;Écrasez l’Infâme&rquo; is intentionally made to sound like &lquo;Écrasez l’Enfant&rquo;, referring to the attempt to kill the infant Jesus in his cradle. Voltaire was a clever guy, and pretty sharp-tongued and -penned, so he might well have intended the blasphemous near-pun…but I like the phrase nonetheless, particularly because it implies that much of what I dislike is infamous, well-known to be bad, as opposed to most other voices I hear (apart from the Ones that Tell Me to Kill) which indicate to me that superstition, irrationality, and anthropocentricity are the _rule_ in human thought….

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