Pass the Olives

Jumbled Opinions on Living, Democracy, and Making Things

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.

Sir Barnett Cocks (1907-1989)
Clerk of the House of Commons

About Pass the Olives

In my junior year at Abraham Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa, my art teacher, Larry Hoffman, drew a caricature of me in my year book. I was dressed in the Helen of Troy costume I had worn to our Grand Beaux Arts Ball (a picnic in a city park by the Des Moines Art Center) and using a long-handled brush to paint a single perfect olive in the […]

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When my thirteen-year-old daughter complained that her friend was being rude, my ten-year-old son asked, with no trace of irony,

“Then why don’t you just be rude back?”

“Because I’m not going to sink to her level.”

“Why not? You sink to mine all the time.”