“Beyond those hints, a selvage line indicates the fabric’s origin of manufacture — France — which is also the origin point for the draperies Dolley had made for the White House.
‘There is no silk damask to be had in either New York or Philadelphia, and I am therefore forced to give you crimson velvet curtains. Architect Benjamin Latrobe to Dolley, 1809.’”
A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become either tolerant or intellectually stable. It can never permit either the truthful recording of facts or the emotional sincerity that literary creation demands.
“There are dishonest people in any business. Boxing, automobiles, journalism. A good leader weeds them out, not just for the customers, but for the industry as a whole. I think of the dedicated reporters and producers who miss special family moments when news breaks, or wide-eyed interns inspired by “All the President’s Men.” Hoaxes, sloppiness and partisan hitjobs damage them, too. For this reason, calling the “fake news” elements in media the “enemy of the people” always left me queasy. I’d think of the many fine journalists I worked with who get lumped in with the fakes by people uninterested in distinctions. (Certainly I heard this when I worked at Fox.) If you’ve ever had collective guilt applied to your religion, region, race or career, you know the feeling.”