danielnolan: “The brain speculates but the heart knows.” Morrissey recycles this phrase on page 221 (UK edition) of his Autobiography (the passage is on the release of “Strangeways Here We Come”). One wonders if he was writing this letter and that part of the memoir at the same time.
I found your blog post on the Times letter while googling to see if “the brain speculates but the heart knows” was borrowed from elsewhere. Finding the Times letter conspired to create an experience, on my end, in which it seemed that pop music’s most stylish plagiarist had shoplifted this from himself. Making the phrase - both truly original and truly borrowed - a true mot de Morrissey.
I think it shines in the context of the letter,
"The world is speeding up, and in order to assist humankind to advance we all strive in many ways to be a better ‘we.’
The brain speculates, but the heart knows”
Sir, I welcome Ann Widdecombe’s views on the depravity of bear-baiting in order to serve the vanities of the British Army Guards (Opinion, July 30). In the humanised world, of course, hats are not worth killing for. Yes, animal rights move different people differently, and there are even those who think that animals simply have no right to be, but there is no sanity in making life difficult on purpose for the Canadian brown bear, especially for Guards hats that look absurd in the first place, and which can easily be replaced by faux versions (thanks to the visionary Stella McCartney) with no death involved.
It is difficult not to look to the Queen herself — after all, they are her Guards, and she must surely be aware of the horrific process utilised to supply real bearskins for her Guards. The mere sight of each bearskin hat must surely jab at the Queen’s heart.
Protection of animals makes for a responsible life. The world is speeding up, and in order to assist humankind to advance we all strive in many ways to be a better “we”.
The brain speculates, but the heart knows, and there is no clever distinction in trapping and skinning bears for petty considerations based on vanity. Concern for all beings — human or animal — is a kindness and a goodness that springs from somewhere much deeper than Royal duty, and like it or not, the Guards wearing real fur reflects the human spirit at its lowest.