Dad, will they ever come back?No. And yes. Dad tucked away his harmonica. No not them. But yes, other people like them. Not in a carnival. God knows what shape they'll come in next. But sunrise, noon, or at the latest, sunset tomorrow they'll show. They're on the road.Oh, no, said Will.Oh, yes, said Dad. We got to watch out the rest of our lives. The fight's just begun.They moved around the carousel slowly.What will they look like? How will we know them?Why, said Dad, quietly, maybe they're already here.Both boys looked around swiftly.But there was only the meadow, the machine and themselves.Will looked at Jim, at his father and then down at his own body and hands. He glanced up at Dad.Dad nodded, once, gravely and then nodded at the carousel and stepped up on it and touched a brass pole.Will stepped up beside him. Jim stepped up beside Will.Jim stroked a horse's mane. Will patted a horse's shoulders.The great machine softly tilted in the tides of night.Just three times around, ahead, thought Will. Hey.Just four times around, ahead, thought Jim. Boy.Just ten times around, back, thought Charles Halloway. Lord.Each read the thoughts in the other's eyes.How easy, thought Will.Just this once, thought Jim.But then, thought Charles Halloway, once you start, you'd always come back. One more ride and one more ride. And, after awhile, you'd offer rides to friends and more friends until finally...The thought hit them all in the same quiet moment....finally you wind up owner of the carousel, keeper of the freaks...proprietor for some small part of eternity of the traveling dark carnival shows....Maybe, said their eyes, they're already here.
Ray Bradbury
Pettiness often leads both to error and to the digging of a trap for oneself. Wondering (which I am sure he didn't) 'if by the 1990s [Hitchens] was morphing into someone I didn’t quite recognize, Blumenthal recalls with horror the night that I 'gave' a farewell party for Martin Walker of the Guardian and then didn't attend it because I wanted to be on television instead. This is easy: Martin had asked to use the fine lobby of my building for a farewell bash and I'd set it up. People have quite often asked me to do that. My wife did the honors after Nightline told me that I’d have to come to New York if I wanted to abuse Mother Teresa and Princess Diana on the same show. Of all the people I know, Martin Walker and Sidney Blumenthal would have been the top two in recognizing that journalism and argument come first and that there can be no hard feelings about it. How do I know this? Well, I have known Martin since Oxford. (He produced a book on Clinton, published in America as 'The President We Deserve'. He reprinted it in London, under the title, 'The President They Deserve'. I doffed my hat to that.) While Sidney—I can barely believe I am telling you this—once also solicited an invitation to hold his book party at my home. A few days later he called me back, to tell me that Martin Peretz, owner of the New Republic, had insisted on giving the party instead. I said, fine, no bones broken; no caterers ordered as yet. 'I don't think you quite get it,' he went on, after an honorable pause. 'That means you can't come to the party at all.' I knew that about my old foe Peretz: I didn't then know I knew it about Blumenthal. I also thought that it was just within the limit of the rules. I ask you to believe that I had buried this memory until this book came out, but also to believe that I won't be slandered and won't refrain—if motives or conduct are in question—from speculating about them in my turn.
Christopher Hitchens