Monday, September 20, 2004

"Heads Will Roll"

While driving home, I heard on the radio that Dan Rather and CBS News had apologized for relying on the clearly forged National Guard memos. CBS will be performing an internal investigation, and one CBS official was quoted (or maybe paraphrased) as having said “heads would roll” over the incident. As I drove, I thought idly about how glad I am to live in a country civilized enough that a grisly expression like “heads will roll” has come to mean people getting fired – and “head-hunting” actually refers to people getting hired.

As if to punctuate my thoughts, I came home to find this ghastly story on the news.

1 comment:

Blar said...

If your mental image of the phrase "heads will roll" ever gets too grisly for you, then instead of thinking of the rolling heads that follow a decapitation, you could imagine them as heads that have been created by the gods but have not yet been given their bodies. You see, though the head is the noblest part of the person, until it gets a body it cannot move at will and it is left to roll along the earth, wherever it is taken, as Plato describes in the Timaeus:

First, then, the gods, imitating the spherical shape of the universe, enclosed the two divine courses in a spherical body, that, namely, which we now term the head, being the most divine part of us and the lord of all that is in us: to this the gods, when they put together the body, gave all the other members to be servants, considering that it partook of every sort of motion. In order then that it might not tumble about among the high and deep places of the earth, but might be able to get over the one and out of the other, they provided the body to be its vehicle and means of locomotionYou could imagine this being a metaphor for getting fired, I suppose, since losing your job leaves the noblest & most important part of you (represented by your head) intact, while making you lost and out of place, like those heads tumbling about. But that's not even the important part - just picture those heads rolling around the countryside, before they've been given their bodies. How could you not smile at that?