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Spy Magazine

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: Spy Magazine Reply with quote

The magazine that took trivia, margin notes and snarky celebrity commentary to its apex is on Google Books.

I remembered this article as one of my favs:


Those who can, do.
Those who did...coas­t.

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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This seems to be your week for elementary logic.

I wonder, though just what you mean by this particular couplet.

1) Those who can, do (and then) did (and then) coast.

2) Since having the ability to do is not mutually exclusive
with having done, having an ability leads to both doing and coasting.

Of course, you are quoting Spy, so its possible that you literally
meant "nothing". Still, since you cite it, it must please you in some
way, perhaps by reinforcing your superiority over the "coasters".
I guess you don't notice that if it is true, and you are a "can", then
you will eventually be a coaster.


I should say that my response was primed in a way by an interchange
I heard on the radio recently. A caller told Lars Larson, a local
conservative blowhard, that "those who can, do, and those who
can't, teach", to which he gave his hearty assent. Later, a teacher
called who agreed with something Lars said (about teachers unions)
and that little bit of anti-intellectual clap trap was ignored.

A lot of people on the radio are desperate, it seems, to find something
good about themselves, even if it involves valorizing their

By the way, being a teacher, again by elementary logic, does not
imply that one cannot do, even if this crude bit of drivel were
absolutely true.

Likewise "coasting" does not imply "having done" by the quote
you cite from Spy, again assuming that it is true.
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