Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Rumor Has It

 

“Ad calamitatem quilibet rumor valet.” (Every rumor is believed against the unfortunate.)Syrus, Maxims.

“Extemplo Libyæ magnas it Fama per urbes:
Fama malum quo non velocius ullum;
Mobilitate viget, viresque acquirit eundo;
Parva metu primo; mox sese attollit in auras,
Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubilia condit.
* * *
Monstrum, horrendum ingens; cui quot sunt corpore plumæ
Tot vigiles oculi subter, mirabile dictu,
Tot linguæ, totidem ora sonant, tot subrigit aures.”

“Straightway throughout the Libyan cities flies rumor;—the report of evil things than which nothing is swifter; it flourishes by its very activity and gains new strength by its movements; small at first through fear, it soon raises itself aloft and sweeps onward along the earth. Yet its head reaches the clouds. * * * A huge and horrid monster covered with many feathers: and for every plume a sharp eye, for every pinion a biting tongue. Everywhere its voices sound, to everything its ears are open.” — Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), IV. 17

The power and potency of a rumor were well-known to the ancients. (I invite the classically trained to correct these translations if it is necessary.) In an era before any real form of mass communication, we witness the destructive power of rumor and its spread like a virulent plague. Note that Virgil was highlighting this in his national epic, a story all Romans would know. I distinctly remember the destruction unleashed by rumors running rampant in the classical literature I read. Perhaps these sources from two millennia ago have something to teach our modern pundits and journalists. Then again, rumor is the majority of their business.

Especially relevant to the Covington Catholic situation is the quote of Publilius Syrus, a former Roman slave who earned his freedom through cleverness and wisdom. I read this as a reference to how people mobilize against the scapegoat, the outgroup, the person on hard times. Someone goes from possibly socially awkward to a member of the Nazi KKK that dines exclusively on kittens and puppies. The false story spreads faster than the truth because people want to believe it.

I think everyone here is on the record denouncing the leftist outrage mob and conservatives who assumed every person in a MAGA hat was like the Nazi trolls they saw on Twitter or otherwise deplorable. It was an act of stunning evil and should prompt some serious introspection.

Just keep in mind how dangerous rumor and social contagion can be so that you yourself do not help the monster take flight…

There are 20 comments.

  1. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin Post author

    Did you hear that all of Ricochet is actually controlled behind the scenes by Troy Senik and a Giraffe plotting against each other for world domination?

    This rumor-laden post is part of the Quote of the Day series.


    Join other Ricochet members by submitting a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation. We have many open dates on the February Schedule. We’ve even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #1
    • January 23, 2019, at 11:39 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  2. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    OmegaPaladin:

    It was an act of stunning evil, and should prompt some serious introspection.

    Just keep in mind how dangerous rumor and social contagion can be, so that you yourself do not help the monster take flight…

    It truly was. Against 17 year olds. Major Hollywood stars and public personalities set out to destroy children. I try not to despair, but this act was so atrocious, so bizarre, that at the moment I can’t help it.

    • #2
    • January 24, 2019, at 12:14 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. Randy Webster Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Did you hear that all of Ricochet is actually controlled behind the scenes by Troy Senik and a Giraffe plotting against each other for world domination?

    I heard that Troy was just a minion, and that the real brains in the endeavor belong to the giraffe.

    • #3
    • January 24, 2019, at 4:14 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  4. WillowSpring Member

    After Harry Reid started talking about “People say that Romney hasn’t filed taxed in 10 years”, our local morning talk show host (Chris Plante, WMAL , Washington DC) started talking of the rumors that Reid had a goat named Vicky tied to the radiator in his office that was dressed in Fish-net stockings.

    After the election, Reid was asked about this obvious untruth and his response was “We won, didn’t we?”. All they care about is winning and slandering the other side, but it has gotten much worse – and more obvious.

    • #4
    • January 24, 2019, at 5:45 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Rodin Member

    I was struck by the quotes first being rendered in the Latin and then its translation. It reminded me how ancient the quote was. That, and it was a time in which literacy was relatively rare. People do (and did) not formally learn to trade in gossip, rumor and innuendo. They just do. It is a lizard brain activity. Probably evolved (like the Prairie dog lookouts) to pass along danger signals quickly. It was only with civilization that this capability was cruelly applied to the banal. And now, with technology, we have given it terrible energy.

    • #5
    • January 24, 2019, at 7:36 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Coolidge

    Elegantly done, dear Paladin…

    • #6
    • January 24, 2019, at 8:44 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Did you hear that all of Ricochet is actually controlled behind the scenes by Troy Senik and a Giraffe plotting against each other for world domination?

    I heard that Troy was just a minion, and that the real brains in the endeavor belong to the giraffe.

    That phiz has “minion” written all over it.

    • #7
    • January 24, 2019, at 9:48 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Did you hear that all of Ricochet is actually controlled behind the scenes by Troy Senik and a Giraffe plotting against each other for world domination?

    I heard that Troy was just a minion, and that the real brains in the endeavor belong to the giraffe.

    That phiz has “minion” written all over it.

    That’s how you get away with it.

    • #8
    • January 24, 2019, at 10:00 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Flicker Inactive

    Is there any real (functional) difference between never-Trumpers and the left nowadays?

    • #9
    • January 24, 2019, at 12:42 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. The Reticulator Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Is there any real (functional) difference between never-Trumpers and the left nowadays?

    Yes. They will be the first ones executed by the left. 

    • #10
    • January 24, 2019, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin Post author

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Is there any real (functional) difference between never-Trumpers and the left nowadays?

    Depends on the person. Kristol, Rubin, etc. are less ideologically consistent than the Left, as their political stance is Orange Man Bad. If Trump said he hoped they lived forever, would they commit suicide out of spite? Ben Shapiro has an actual worldview and was willing to support Trump at times. People on Ricochet who are NT tend to despise Trump as a person more than anything else.

    • #11
    • January 24, 2019, at 2:47 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Flicker Inactive

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Yes. They will be the first ones executed by the left. 

    I should qualify this by saying I don’t approve of the punishment, but the left will probably purge the impurity from themselves first.

    • #12
    • January 24, 2019, at 3:46 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. The Reticulator Member

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Yes. They will be the first ones executed by the left.

    I should qualify this by saying I don’t approve of the punishment, but the left will probably purge the impurity from themselves first.

    Exactly.

    • #13
    • January 24, 2019, at 7:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Did you hear that all of Ricochet is actually controlled behind the scenes by Troy Senik and a Giraffe plotting against each other for world domination?

    Hear about it? I contributed to the secret GoFundMe account and they sent me a certificate for some real estate for when they are dominating the world and the deed to a very major bridge! 

    • #14
    • January 24, 2019, at 11:50 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. SergeantMajorJiggs Coolidge

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Did you hear that all of Ricochet is actually controlled behind the scenes by Troy Senik and a Giraffe plotting against each other for world domination?

    I heard that Troy was just a minion, and that the real brains in the endeavor belong to the giraffe.

    That would not surprise me. Although I do not know who Troy is. Giraffes are very intelligent, and have “supercharged” hearts that can pump the blood up their very long neck. Very clever, and very useful. It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8368000/8368915.stm

     

    • #15
    • January 25, 2019, at 11:59 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Randy Webster Member

    Troy was an early Ricochet editor, maybe the first. He was a speech writer for W. The giraffe refers to an incident at a big Las Vegas Ricochet meetup. Only a few know the true story, and they’re not talking.

    • #16
    • January 25, 2019, at 12:35 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    SergeantMajorJiggs (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Did you hear that all of Ricochet is actually controlled behind the scenes by Troy Senik and a Giraffe plotting against each other for world domination?

    I heard that Troy was just a minion, and that the real brains in the endeavor belong to the giraffe.

    That would not surprise me. Although I do not know who Troy is. Giraffes are very intelligent, and have “supercharged” hearts that can pump the blood up their very long neck. Very clever, and very useful. It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8368000/8368915.stm

     

    There’s only one person who would claim to not know Troy. 

    Nice obfuscation, there Roy-with-a-‘T’. 

    • #17
    • January 25, 2019, at 2:02 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Troy was an early Ricochet editor, maybe the first. He was a speech writer for W. The giraffe refers to an incident at a big Las Vegas Ricochet meetup. Only a few know the true story, and they’re not talking.

    Is this kinda like the sheep scandal in Montana? Asking for a friend. 

    • #18
    • January 25, 2019, at 2:03 PM PST
    • Like
  19. Percival Thatcher

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Troy was an early Ricochet editor, maybe the first. He was a speech writer for W. The giraffe refers to an incident at a big Las Vegas Ricochet meetup. Only a few know the true story, and they’re not talking.

    It’s not that they aren’t talking. They just can’t get their stories straight.

    Here, here, and here.

    • #19
    • January 25, 2019, at 3:40 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Randy Webster Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Troy was an early Ricochet editor, maybe the first. He was a speech writer for W. The giraffe refers to an incident at a big Las Vegas Ricochet meetup. Only a few know the true story, and they’re not talking.

    Is this kinda like the sheep scandal in Montana? Asking for a friend.

    Don’t know anything about any sheep scandals. Actually, I don’t know anything about any giraffe scandals, either. Only that one exists.

    • #20
    • January 25, 2019, at 3:42 PM PST
    • 3 likes