Me: In the seventeen hundreds someone wrote a book which is still in print with the title Great Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.
Me: If he was alive today he could update it. It was about the South Sea Bubble and people paying ten thousand pounds for a tulip bulb. I can sell you a tulip bulb for only five thousand, do you want it?
Me: Do you ever say to yourself how can people be so stupid?
He: I’ve given up asking that.
Me: In Cork there was a thing called Empowering Women. A man in England was said to have his tongue so firmly in his cheek no one knew it was there. I sometimes feel like laughing but don’t. What about men? Isn’t that sexist? It was a scam, a pyramid scheme. People who were taken in were interviewed, none of them said they were to blame.
He: They never do.
Me: One woman said she knew it was a racket but if she got in and out quick at an early stage she would make money, so she did. That’s like saying I don’t believe in prostitution but I have a brothel and it makes money, so that’s alright.
I said to a lawyer there’s a saying I can’t remember, when something seems too good to be true it usually is, sometimes is or always is. He said, usually.
When people are taken in by a confidence trick its because of gullibility, naivety, stupidity and greed. Stupidity can be defined as not thinking. Do they never read anything?
Me: I remember saying years ago that my mother could spot a con man at twenty paces. Honest people can. They try to ingratiate themself with you, like Gay Byrne. That might be unfair.
He: To the conman.
Me: I said to an English couple, who didn’t talk at all, that Tony Blair was like a TV personality. Gordon Brown trained himself to smile. You could see him doing it, it didn’t work. He should not become a comedian, maybe an undertaker. Television is a supeficial medium, its concerned with appearance, not reality.
Alec Douglas Home said there should not be television debates at elections. The best actor with the best script would win. Tony Blair.
In the eighteen fifties in America there were snake oil salesmen, real snake oil salesmen. Methaphors come from something literal. When someone bought some as a cure all they would be followed onto the train and cheated out of their house. If they fall for snake oil they will fall for anything.
When Billy Graham was in London there were people going around local houses saying they were from the Billy Graham organisation and if you paid twenty pounds you would get into Heaven. Some people paid. I read that out to my mother and said how can people be so stupid?
She said I’ll pay when I get there.
15th September, 2017