February 24, 2012

Why laws, iPads, writing and porn are like sausages…


“Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.”
       Traditionally attributed to
Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)
       German statesman
       Bismarck is
widely credited with this old political saw, sometimes in the form “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.”
       However, as noted by authoritative sources like the
Quote Investigator site, there’s no proof Bismarck ever uttered or penned either variation. It appears to be a famous misquote that has been wrongly attributed to him for decades.
Many websites cite a quote by the 19th Century American poet John Godfrey Saxe as a possible origin. In an 1869 lecture, Saxe said: “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” However, Saxe’s version seems to imply that his audience was already familiar with the basic “laws are like sausages…” formulation.


“iPads are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made....We in the West don’t really seem to care that Chinese employees work under awful conditions and die in appalling numbers — unless they make shiny things that we use. We claim we don’t want people to suffer, but in fact we just don’t want our iProducts tainted by that suffering. Isn’t that more than a little hypocritical?”
Jon Evans
       Canadian novelist, journalist and software engineer
       Discussing recent revelations about the brutal working conditions of Chinese workers who make iPads and other Apple products,
in his column on the TechCrunch.com site


“Writing is like sausage making in my view; you’ll all be happier in the end if you just eat the final product without knowing what’s gone into it.”
George R.R. Martin
       American author and screenwriter, known especially for his A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels (the basis for HBO’s Game of Thrones series)
       Remark to his fans
in a June 2009 post on his “Not a Blog” blog


“Sex Pigs: Why Porn is Like Sausage, or the Truth is That – Behind the Scenes – Porn Is Not Very Sexy.”
Benjamin Scuglia
       L.A.-based writer and editor of Inside Porn Magazine
       Title of
a widely-cited article he wrote for the Journal of Homosexuality in 2004

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