‘The obdurate knoll’ – Colin Kidd on JFK conspiracy theories, from the archive.
“For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived, and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” — U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Yale Commencement, June 11, 1962 #TBT
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
On Wednesday, TNT begins a resurrected “Dallas” that is palely faithful to the original without its seditious zest.
To be fair on Standard Oil, it could also be a pretty nasty operator when it chose. Rockefeller conspired with railway companies to ensure that his rivals would pay much higher freight charges than he did, and that their payments would secretly cross-subsidise discounts for Standard Oil. That cost disadvantage left independent refiners with a choice between going bust over time, or selling out to Standard Oil for the scrap value of their plant. And the more Standard Oil grew, the more people's feet it stepped on. If it cut prices, competitors complained about unfair competition. If it raised prices, consumers complained about gouging. A top Standard Oil manager, William Warden, wrote in 1887 that the firm, albeit "a success unparalleled in commercial history", was viewed almost everywhere as "the representative of all that is evil, hard hearted, oppressive [and] cruel."
But his paintings failed to impress the English aristocracy in Rome; and when he moved to Naples in the hope of currying favour with the famous collector Sir William Hamilton, he was snubbed. His response seems to have been an obdurate resignation: 'Looking upon myself as deserted by my Countrymen - the depression of my Spirits was such, that I endeavoured avoiding as much as possible those places where I was likely to meet them.'
In Uganda construction will shortly begin on a new 250 megawatt hydropower dam. After 13 years of seeing plans delayed by corruption allegations, obdurate spirits and opposition from environmental lobbyists, all that remains is for the foreign financiers to hand over the promised cash. The east African country relies almost entirely on two existing dams at the source of the River Nile for all its energy needs. But drastically reduced water levels have drastically cast the country into darkness. Critics of the scheme question the sense in deepening the country's dependency on one stretch of river. (Reporter: Richard Lough)
obdurate (OB-doo-rit, -dyoo-)
1. Stubborn: not easily moved.
2. Hard-hearted: resistant to emotions.
From Latin obdurare (to harden), from durus (hard). Ultimately from the Indo-European root deru- (to be firm) that's the source of such other words as truth, trust, betroth, tree, endure, druid, during, durable, duress, trow, and indurate.
"The White Paper outlines no strategy to end government's obdurate resistance to proper pricing of passenger services." — Raghu Dayal; Whither is Fled, Railways' Visionary Gleam? The Economic Times (New Delhi, India); Feb 23, 2010.
Knoll definition, a small, rounded hill or eminence; hillock.