"Take what you like and leave the rest." (Al-Anon dictum; Here, read only the green hi-lited words if you are in a rush or just do not want bullsh*t)
Maxims can be great. It's like when a subordinate presents information to his or her CEO. The CEO does not want a 2 hour "meeting" to waste his or her time, and he or she can enforce this anent his or her subordinates. He or she just wants "The Net". And the subordinate, who may be a 2nd or 3rd line manager, gets the point and does not try to woo his or her CEO with that with which he or she blesses his or her subordinates: mandatory voluntary "all hands" meetings, which are: logorrhea → like Charles paid-on-the-installment-plan Dickens.
An old New Yorker cartoon featured two hikers in a big State or National Park. They were somewhere (Isn't everybody somewhere?). They were looking intently at a big map of the Park. The map was protected from the elements by an overhang at its top. It was a very sturdy map. There was a big "X" in the middle of the map, exactly where the two hikers were located. The annotation to the big "X" read:
You are here and you are lost.
The two hikers were probably city folk out for a day gig, not arborists or loggers or other types of persons who, as one might say, would know their *ss from a hole in the ground.
Second maxim: There was a Jack Ziegler New Yorker cartoon of a person who was depressed. The person was looking at the toaster on their kitchen table, or maybe the toaster was on the kitchen counter, I forget the details. The toaster reassures the depressed person about their condition in life:
You are special! You have a talking toaster!
One of my favorite books is Else Morante's "History: A novel". It begins with a quotation that there are no words in the human language to describe the suffering of the human guinea pigs who do not know the reason for their death: victims of the first atomic bomb which was dropped on the City of Hiroshima, 6 August 1945. Some 686 or so pages later, having described what you probably never were told in your adolescent schooling which may have been taught by a supposedly retired military prig whose self-image was higher then Mount Suriibachi but whose but* was still at most a meter above the worn linoleum of his classroom's floor, Morante's book ends with the maxim: "And History continues...."
Wikipedia has a sequel to that:
La Storia sold well over 600,000 copies in Italy, one of the few best-sellers written by a living author in the turbulent 1970s. It met with harsh criticism from leftist reviewers, who took issue with its stridently anti-establishmentarialist themes, though more sympathetic reviewers have said it 'embodies the ideal literary work' of mid-20th century disillusionment."
I (BMcC) have encountered such [fill in the blank]s in U.S.A. in 2020, one of which is NGO funded and is one of the few survivors of the early days of AIDS and who makes their living by honorably helping other AIDS victims to survive, but if charity begins at home [again, fill in the blank, my reader]. The anti-Morante-ites are still around, albeit different instances of their kind than probably wrote the early anti-Morante reviews, because all men (and women) are mortal. With, of course, a very few possible exceptions.
In the preparatory school I attended, my masters [I was not the child of slaves] had a toilet room that was off limits to students. Maybe they had something to hide? The school, with its supposedly retired naval officer American History peda
gogueprig, was commissioned in the U.S. Minus one-th Fleet, whose flagship is the USS Narrenschiff (or at least one of that Class of naval vessel; like the battleship Tirpitz shows, this Class may have had a production run > 1).
Like the Air Force base in "Dr. Strangelove" ("Peace is our profession"), this place had a motto, or at least its first Commanding Officer, who won his final promotion to 6 Star Church Admiral by having an epileptic seizure, once wrote something which may have been entirely out of [lack of] character for him, but God sometimes speaks through the mouths of babes, so why not the prudishly self-righteous ("It is better for a man to marry than to burn")? I (BMcC) think this is good advice. I will follow it with another piece of good advice, from physicist Neils Bohr, and that will be it for me for starting this page of maxims.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thess 5:21)
You should take every statement I make as a question, not as an assertion. (Neils Bohr)
Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story....
- "Where believing starts, thinking has ended." (The best one can hope for is that nothing happens so that the believing has no effects)
- "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" (Job 1:21) But society only takes; its greed has no limits.
- "Worst things first." (BMcC[18-11-46-503]; "Bad news does not get better with age.")
- "When in doubt, wait it out." (Michael Eigen)
- "Whatever you get into, make sure you can get out."
- "Perhaps the best we can hope for vis-à-vis God is that He take no notice of us" (ref.: Job)
- "The Rich Are Different. They Know When To Leave."
- "A woman's place is in the maternity ward."
- "If bitches were horses then beggars would ride."
- "If you don't mess it up, nobody has to clean it up."
- "No wind blows in favor of that ship which has no port of destination."
- "Where words fail, music speaks."
- "Everything is really something. It's just not always what it appears to be."
- "The unsavored life is not worth living."
- "Do you advocate self-sacrifice? By all means, go ahead and sacrifice your self!"
- "The early bird gets worms."
- "God is in the details." / "Less is more." (Mies van der Rohe)
- "The justification for private property is stewardship. The justification for power over another person is trusteeship insofar as the person is unable to take care of themself."
- "A thing of beauty is a responsibility forever."
- "Gravitation is universal, but it affects a pasha differently than those who carry him around in his sedan chair."
- [ This space available. ]
- "Rust never sleeps." (Dis-integrative forces are always busy degrading and destroying everything of value)
- "The more of anything [e.g., people] there are, the less each is worth."
- "If you want something, ask for it. You can't complain about people not giving you something, unless you've let them know you want it."
- "Representative democracy is primarily a democracy of the representatives."
- "In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different." (Coco Chanel)
- "It is important that children learn 'swear words', so that they can be punished for using them."
- "Big pitchers have big ears."
- "Spare the rod and spoil the intrusive parent (/ teacher)"
- "'Volunteer' is a transitive verb, as in: 'We volunteer you to [do whatever we want selflessly to extract out of you].'"
- "When the Zen master asks a student: 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?', one answer would be for student to cut off one of the master's hands."
- "If you meet the Buddha on the road, greet him respectfully, and proceed according to how he responds to you." (Question: If the Buddha has a heart attack, should you call "911", or is he too enlightened for that?)
- "How difficult a problem is to solve generally has no relation to the value of solving the problem."
- "Often, the problem as stated is just one of the symptoms."
- "If it's not broken, don't fix it." / KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) (Kelly Johnson +/ U.S. Navy, 1960)
- "The cheapest alternative is not always the least expensive."
- "The rule of holes: when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
- "Future generations"? We are one (every generation is a future generation of all its previous generations). --As the saying goes: "If not us, who? If not now, when?"
- "If you find something don't tell anybody; if you lose something don't tell anybody" (Gulag dictum)
- "Commodiousness breeds courteousness. In a traffic jam, people will glare at you and try to cut you off; when traffic is flowing smoothly, they'll smilingly wave you in"
- "I enjoy being polite to persons who are properly deferential to me."
- "Happy the person who can find genuine interest and satisfaction in something nobody else wants -- for then (s)he has a better chance of being allowed to have it. [provided (s)he doesn't tell anybody they like it]"
- "No person can run so fast that one cannot turn the speed on a treadmill up high enough to make them fall off." (And if they can, buy them a faster treadmill)
- "Men have sex organs; women are sex organs."
- "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." (1960's bumper sticker on old pickup truck)
- "[Concerning anything] Always ask what is it an instance of." (Louis Forsdale)
- "Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture.... in our bourgeois Western world total labor has vanquished leisure. Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for nonactivity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture -- and ourselves."
- "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it."
- "There is no happiness where there is no wisdom; No wisdom but in submission to the gods. Big words are always punished, And proud men in old age learn to be wise."
- "He who, venturing high above his place, mistakes what is not for what is, loses his place in the end."
- "For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." (Lou Gehrig)
- "All understood, too late."
- "Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? They paved paradise Put up a parking lot."
- "Take your time, think a lot. Think of everything you've got. For you will still be here tomorrow but your dreams may not."
- "Je me souviens" (Quebec Canada automobile license plates; translate: "I remember")
- "Houston, we've had a problem/" (Apollo 13)
- "The Eagle has landed." (Apollo 11)
- "The earth has become small, and on it hops The Last Man who makes everything small.... He has sunk so low that he an no longer even able to despise himself." (Friedrich Nietzsehe; BMcC[18-11-46-503] imperfect quote from memory)
- "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
- "My roots are not ethnic: my roots are ethnological."
- "The great general wins without fighting." (Sun Tzu)
- "The way to win a guerilla war is to offer the people a better life than the enemy offers them." (U.SA.F. Colonel John R Boyd, citation from imperfect oral memory, BMcC)
- "Lift up the downtrodden." (Adm. William McRaven; BMcC[18-11-46-503]: "No person rises so high that they cannot reach a hand down to help another person up.")
- "Whoever kills one life kills the world entire, and whoever saves one life saves the world entire." (Paraphrased from the Talmud)
- "My God's commandment to mankind is: 'Be kind to one another'" (Charles Siegel, computer programming manager)
- "To create a work of art is to create the world."
- "The best are not always the strongest." Example: Charles Darwin survived only because of inherited wealth and the ministrations of a devoted wife.
- "Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom."
- "There is more to the surface than meets the eye." (Aaron Beck)
- "Every false statement tells a truth, just not the one it looks like it is telling."
- If you can't find your glasses and have looked everywhere and no luck, check on your nose. (Paraphrase from Martin Heidegger's "Being and Time"; this is a parable)
- "Whatever we do is the same thing: We always learn more who we are." (Tom Gee)
- "The way you fight materiel is not with men but with materiel." (Marshal Philippe Pétain, paraphrase)
- "The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." (Wilfred Owen, 1918)
- "People are willing to pay anything for a free ticket." (Apocryphal airline executive)
- "A person who is incapable of creating anything can still decorate something." (BMcC[18-11-46-503])
For the classical Greeks, "[t]he distinction between man and animal [ran] right through the human species itself" (Arendt, 1958, p. 19)
- "If a man lacks the right stuff, he can at least wear the right suit."
- "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
- "One man's dreamboat has often turned out to be another person's destroyer."
- "The bad sleep well." (Akira Kurosawa)
- "Non carborundum legitimi!" (Don't let the duly constituted authorities grind you down!)
- "Virtue is its own reward." (Don't expect any more)
- "Life sucks, and then you die." (Mark Lindquist)
- "There is no last word on any subject...." Conversation has no end (conversation is open-ended...); conversation is ended by misfortunate impingements of finitude and death.
Useless stuff people get themselves worked up about
- Body odor.
- The shape of the earth.
- Being offended and/or insulted.
- Who wins competitions.
- Nose picking in public.
- Publicity about "black sheep in the family".
- Bad things that happened to dead people.
- What people think of them.
- Other people's sex lives.
- The origin of the universe.
- Hurting people's feelings. ("Being sensitive".)
- Men's trousers that are too short.
- People who get hurt for doing foolish things.
- Coy young ladies' "virtue".
- Mother's Day.
- Posthumous honors.
- New fashions.
- Aggregating in large numbers.
- Being embarrassed.
- People other than themselves walking on the moon.
- What their neighbors "think about them".
- Euphemisms. ("Calling a spade a spade.")
- School spirit.
- Flatulance. (Also: Belching.)
- Professional "sports".
- Best sellers.
- Having gleaming white teeth to smile with.
- Forgiving bad parents for having hurt them.
- Their 2nd Amendment rights.
- The dead.
- Rogue cops.
- "Curse words". (And people taking the Lord their God's name in vain.)
- Harry & Meghan, LLC
- Public statues of people who owned slaves before 1863 or fought for The Confederacy.
- Christopher Columbus.
- Pablo Picasso.
- Andy Warhole.
- Archduke Ferdinand.
- Jamal Khashoggi 💗
- ↑ Something that I was never taught in that day carcel: "[Self-pleasuring] is such a relief and such a stress reliever.
If you have privileges where you aren't worried about about where your next meal is gonna come from or what the status of your job is going to be, then why not take time to like explore your own body and be self-intimate" (BBC interview with employee of a sex toy manufacturer) Did my tor-mentors have functioning sex organs or only urethras? What things did they do that they kept secret from me?
- ↑ Example: If the people who believe in infantile male circumcision never have any more male children their belief will not hurt any more male children.
- ↑ Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
- ↑ The reasoning here is that if I want something that I cannot get immediately, if I requisitioned it yesterday, I have a day less to wait than if I requisition it today.
- ↑ The traditional version of this maxim is: "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." This is something I was told by my IBM manager (Jay Unger), when I asked him for a job assignment that would both be meaningful for me and productive for the company.
- ↑ The great self-promoter, Socrates, famously or infamously said that the unreflected life is not worth living. But of what worth living is a life that consists of nothing but sacrifice and/or suffering? Doesn't that which is reflected upon also need to be felt to be worth experiencing, or else why bother putting up with it? Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori and hurry up and get your gas masks on, tight, men! [I gasp and choke, therefore I am.]
- ↑ Q: Are people who are woke, not wide awake (Wokies), human or not?
- ↑ Example: by being called a racial epithet, such as "the 'N' word", or in "AOC"'s case: "a f***ing b****".
- ↑ Example: professional sport "games".
- ↑ Philosopher Diogenes of Sinope masturbated in public.
- ↑ Especially: to their biological progenitors, or other people's biological progenitors.
- ↑ Exception: If they have personally met and engaged with Him/Her/Other(s).
- ↑ Example: Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, Saudi dissident who got himself mordered for trying to get an early Valentine's Day card for his true love. Also: Alexei Navalny, who asked Vladimir Putin to send him to The Gulag after he just barely escaped Putin murdering him and he was rescued at great expense by "The West". Also: People who die trying to climb dangerous mountains.
- ↑ Show her you love her by giving her dead flowers, or chocolate candies to make her fat.
- ↑ Yes, you survived another day, which is very good, but its no different from any other day.
- ↑ which do nothing for the recipient.
- ↑ Tomorrow's passé "old hat".
- ↑ This is aespecially absurd in the case of adults praiding children for doint childish things as if they were something of substntive value, like their 5 year old child's art work or musical perforances, unless the child is a prodigy.
- ↑ People follow their teachings, or as I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) call it: their scent trails, instead of following their example and not following anybody but rather cooking up their own personal design for their individuated life to live.
- ↑ Ultra-orthodox jewish people (haredim, etc.) are especially vulnerable to this epidemiologlcally ill advised behavior.
- ↑ Exception: Time-dependent situations such as evacuating a beach front town that will be struck with a Category 5 hurricane in 8 hours.
- ↑ Are people with Down's syndrome mentally retarded or are they "special"? Are obese people fat or are they volumetrically privileged? Etc.
- ↑ Males are evolutionarily expendable. One male can impregnate many females, so males are of military value only jointly, not severally.
- ↑ Treat me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) well while I'm alive; once I'm dead, you can eat my corpse for lunch or dinner or whatever meal you like.
Unfortunate for themself, the person who lacks one; unfortunate for others, the person that is one. Don't be an a**hole!