The Dumbbell's Dictionary
Lysergic acid diethyl amide, n. Pace the Beatles, „Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’ just
doesn’t get it.
Trofim Lysenko, n. Stalin’s favorite biologist in the 1930’s. A firm believer in the
Lamarkian theory of acquired characteristics. Thus, if a female cat loses its tail and then
has kittens, they will be born without tails. Should have been easy enough to check, but
wasn’t, and consequently set back Soviet biological research by decades.
General Douglas MacArthur, n. Had it exactly right in saying that there is no substitute
for victory. And here is what he had to say to the Cadets at the U. S. Military Academy in
May of 1962. „Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at
arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago and has
never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest
figures – not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most
stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth
and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy
from me, or from any other man.
He has written his own history, and written it in red on his enemy’s breast. (Sounds a bit
like George Patton at this point.) In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around
a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-
abnegation and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of
his people. From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of
courage. As I listened to these songs in memory’s eye, I could see those staggering
columns of the First World War, bending on soggy packs on many a weary march, from
dawn to dusk to drizzling rain, to slogging ankle through mire of shell-pocked roads, to
form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind
and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.
I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died
unquestioning, uncomplaining , with faith in their hearts and on their lips the hope that
we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood,
and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light’
Macedonian Phalanx, n. Perhaps the most invincible war machine in Western history
until, that is, the ran headlong into a Roman Legion in 196 B. C.
General MacClellan , n. When, after the Battles of Onasssis, One and Two, Otherwise
known at the Battles of Bull Run One and Two, which the Union lost, Abraham Lincoln
deferentially approached the general and asked, “ If you’re not using the army, could I
John D. MacDonald, n. Great popular author of the 1960’s-1970’s, of the Travis McGee
series, with always Travis’s cohort, the hairy economist, Meyer. Not too many folks, I
would wager, know that he also wrote three splendid novels of science fiction, thus:
„Wine of the Dreamers,’ „Ballroom of the Skies,’ and „The Girl, the Gold Watch, and
Everything.’ Stephen King recently called him one of the greatest writers ever.