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2005 wk 3 quote

"A crank is a small engine that causes revolutions."
Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, Irish pacifist. 1878-1916

Clearly, what with this, the Scargill quote last week and the Rivera quote back in wk 0, this year's diary compiler got out their Big Book of Revolutionary Quotes. I'd say it was a sly way of revolutionising the workplace, except
a) this particular quote can be seen as anti-revolutionary at first glance
b) who reads the quotes in their desk diaries anyway?

I'd not heard of Sheehy-Skeffington before. He was in favour of Home Rule but against the fighting, and died during the Easter Rising of 1916. The line about a crank is actually his response to being called a "crank" for his pacifist, feminist views and is pro-revolution.

'Crank' is one of those very curious words which has two completely incompatible meanings. It's a thingy in an engine, and a disparging term for a non-conformist. It's always been curiously popular as an insult to vegetarians, to the extent that a famous 1970s veggie restaurant (The River Cafe of its day, what with producing their own cookbook and all) reclaimed the word by calling themselves it. That's slightly unfair, as they are still going, but I have the old 1980s cookbook from them so I think of them in that strange world when veggies were still seen as 'weird'.

I'm struggling with this quote of the week, can you tell?

Posted @ 10:08 am on Wednesday, January 26, 2005
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