On Animals

“But I don’t hold with the idea that man is just a higher animal,” I was saying.

“I think you’re right,” Mr. Magundi agreed. “Maybe instead of seeing humans as higher animals, we’d be better off thinking of animals as lesser humans. Or maybe ‘lesser’ is the wrong word.”

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On Presidential Debates

“So what did you think of the debate, Magundi?” Mr. Bates asked, with an arch of his eyebrows that suggested he thought he might be poking a hornet’s nest.

“I didn’t watch any of the debates,” Mr. Magundi replied, “and I can’t imagine why anyone else would, either. They’re ludicrously artificial performances that tell us nothing about what the candidates really intend to do, and do not simulate the actual activity of governing in any way. We’d learn exactly as much about the candidates if we put them in frilly tutus and made them dance the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.