Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Even Before I Was Born
If Ann Althouse can blog about the past, I figure it's fair game even if she's dealing with bigger things like visible camisoles than I. This excursion into the mists of time goes back to Korea of the 1950s. Yes, there is a war going on even if it's officially called a "police action" due to the fortuitous circumstance that let the United Nations act in the in the interest of freedom for once.
Ellis O. Briggs is the United States Ambassador to South Korea and an exemplar of the great tradition of the gentleman diplomat. The sort of man who would know much of the world beyond his vocation. A man of encyclopedic knowledge. Maybe.
When hosting visitors to the embassy on some occasion, he was asked about a flower growing on the grounds. Not actually knowing the type of flower but possibly thinking it best to answer the question nonetheless, he said, "That's an aster." When the questioner said something on the order of "That's not like any aster I know." he replied, "It's a Korean aster."
Thus is brilliance established and a diplomat exemplified.

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