For a period of time, I worked as a cheesemonger in London. It was a marvelous time in my life. If you are a 19 year old but you want to look like a fat 45 year old, here's a tip: try working around really amazing English cheese five days a week.
This week, whenever I have been giving my stump speech or speaking with Katie Couric and there is not much to think about, I have been playing a little mental game. I select a continent at random and then try to recall three heads of state there who exemplify Arendt’s concept of “the banality of evil.” Today it was Africa. Omar Bongo of Gabon came to mind first, though he is probably too charismatic a figure to qualify. Perhaps Sudan’s Al-bashir is more appropriate. Meles Zenawi? Definitely a possibility.
There was a brief pause, then I heard the terrified cry of 'I'm falling!' and I saw all the tension go out of the ropes. There was a muffled 'thump', then silence. Horrified, I thought, 'Oh god, I've killed the poor bastard.'
Some people say that people who get dressed up and go to science fiction conventions need to get a life, but I just dare you to hang out with a “cultural sophisticate” for an afternoon some day. These people make fanboys look positively disinterested. Imagine Star Wars references in every other paragraph. For an entire book. That’s what it’s like to read this book for those of us who think of Homer as a fat stupid man from Springfield.
-- from a review of the novel The Magusby John Fowles