Internet Philosophers

I don’t surf the Net very much.  I don’t have a problem with spending hours wandering through cyberspace – actually, I think it’s kinda cool – I just don’t have the time.  Basically, I stick to my favourite sites every day, and that works for me.  However, every once in a while, I go nuts and get tangled up in the web of The Web — and I’m lost in space for a couple of hours.  I never think of these Cyber adventures as time wasted.  I learned way back in the dialup days that the Internet is an enchanted garden, and once you weed out the idiots, the place is blooming with beautiful flowers.  Here’s just a small bouquet of some front porch philosophers I found the other day.

Taxation is just the yearly subscription fee you pay to live in your country; your childhood was the free trial.

Don’t ask me what’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done: I haven’t peaked yet.

I just hate it when I accidently step on my dog’s tail because I feel so guilty that I can’t properly explain that it was an accident and I’m really, really sorry.

It’s never a good sign when your fitness watch starts flashing stress warnings and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet.

You know you were right all along when they name a hurricane after your ex.

It’s definitely love when your girlfriend comes home totally drunk, stands by the bed, starts taking off her clothes, stops and says, “I’m sure you’re awfully nice, but I have a boyfriend.”  And then walks out and goes to sleep on the sofa.

The other day I thought it would be cool if someone invented a hot veggie smoothie; then I remembered — it’s called soup.

Cargo pants are just cleverly disguised purses.

If you eat probiotic yogurt when you’re taking antibiotics, does that mean you’re coming out about even?

When I was young, I fell off my bike and fractured my ankle.  I rode my bike home.  Last week, I stubbed my toe– and I haven’t left the sofa since.

When I was young, I wanted to spend a year backpacking across Asia.  These days, I’m pissed when the bum warmer in my car isn’t warm enough.

When I was young, I thought I’d have a great career, a wild social life, a cool apartment and a retirement plan.  I ended up with mismatched wineglasses and a toilet that won’t quit flushing unless you jiggle the handle.

I hate being the parent because I always have to say no to all the same things I loved doing as a kid.

Every morning, men leave the house with nothing but their phone, their wallet and their keys.  How do they make it through the day?

That awkward moment when you ask a girl out for the first time — and then, five years later you ask her to marry you — and she says no – both times.

Finally realizing that the reason you clean the house before people come over is you don’t want them to think you actually live this way.

When you accidently fart in a meeting and it sounds like somebody’s stretching the neck of a balloon.

Telling all your friends you have a twin so you don’t have to talk to them in public.

The secret to a successful marriage is never hating each other – on the same day.

With all the crap that’s going on in the world, these days I watch The Shining to relax.

The only thing in the universe that’s worse than a Man Cold is being married to someone who has a Man Cold.

Realizing you’re excited about Valentine’s Day because you know chocolate’s going to go on sale the morning of the 15th.

“Ignore this text.  I’m pretending to add some jerk’s telephone number to my contacts.”

It’s always difficult when you find out your wife eats spaghetti with a spoon and divorce lawyers are outrageously expensive — on the same day.

You know you’ve been in lockdown too long when the kids start referring to the Amazon delivery guy as Uncle Freddie.

Single people don’t know there’s a wrong way to load the dishwasher.

The best thing about working from home is you don’t have to fight through all the lunch purses in the company refrigerator — and, sometimes, a pigeon sits on the balcony.

When coworkers, doctors and boyfriends say “we,” they usually mean “you.”

And a couple of my favourites:

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat the people who work in restaurants.

People who add a “but” when they apologize aren’t actually apologizing.

Stuff I’ve Learned to – UH – Dislike!

hate

Hate is one of those things we’re not supposed to do anymore.  It’s on this unwritten list of things that are strictly verboten in the 21st century.  There’s a lot of other stuff on the list, but that’s not our concern today.  (Besides the list kinda keeps changing, so it hard to keep up.)  Anyway, hate is a biggie, so if you’re going to do it, you better keep your mouth shut about it.  And that’s the problem.  You see, hate is one of the primal emotions.  It’s hardwired into our DNA — like love, jealousy, fear, sadness, etc., etc. — and we can’t just switch it off because a Twitter mob tells us to.  Think about it!  Every religion on the planet made its bones preaching that our spiritual needs must overcome our baser emotions; Twitter’s no different.  Yet, throughout history, we’ve managed to harvest a pretty substantial crop of sinners.  Personally, I think a little sin is good for the soul: just don’t let it get out of hand.  So, with that in mind, here are a few things I — uh – dislike very, very much.

Eggplant – When I was a kid, this was a particularly insidious brand of child abuse, and I vowed when I became an adult, I would never let this slippery, slimy, sludgy purple horror darken my doorstep again – and it hasn’t.

Wine Snobs – These are the guys (and they’re always guys) who take one sip of wine and start orating its qualities like Cicero in front of the Roman Senate.  Here’s the deal.  It has been proven (literally hundreds of times) that ordinary people cannot actually tell plonk from pinot noir— and even seasoned sommeliers can’t do it consistently.  In fact, in one study (University of Bordeaux) white wine was coloured red and nobody knew the difference!  Fruity aftertaste, my ass!

“The Little Drummer Boy” – Listening to this dirge every Christmas is like getting beaten over the head with candy canes.  This is one holiday tradition that should be shot in the head, dragged by its heels into the back garden and buried without ceremony.

“Relationships” – This is what’s wrong with contemporary society: we don’t have the cojones to love each other anymore.

Faux Foodies – I love genuine foodies.  Anyone who spends that much time and trouble just to find something different to put in their mouth is a dedicated connoisseur of the oral experience.  However, those other clowns who insist guacamole is an entrée, refuse to serve any vegetable with a recognizable name and prowl the trendy shops, looking for esoteric crap like Peruvian pygmy goat cheese, are just assholes.

And finally:

Pompous Asses – Years ago, I had a university professor who thought he didn’t put his pants on one leg at a time.  I decided to squeeze some creative points out of the old boy by giving him a gag gift for his office.  I bought a plaster figurine of Pan at a local garden shop.  Then I created a long-winded provenance that said it was a replica of a full-sized statue, discovered in the ruins of Pompeii.  I even printed a tag that read, Frederico II, University of Naples/Gift Shop.  I thought it was all in good fun.  Unfortunately, Professor X and his colleagues didn’t really have a sense of humour.  They were quite impressed with the gift!  They marvelled at the craftsmanship, and a couple of them commented that it was an excellent example of 1st century Roman art.  One fellow, overcome with one-upmanship, casually mentioned that it was indeed a very good replica because he’d seen the original.  (I needed the marks, so I kept my mouth shut.)

Law — A Brief History

law

Ever since our hairiest ancestors came down out of the trees and grouped themselves together against the dangers of an unforgiving world, we have made laws to govern ourselves.  In the beginning, they were simple tribal dictates that set out reasonable behaviour within the group.  Things like no stealing another guy’s vegetables, no peeing upstream from the village, everybody gets a slice of the mastodon, and no loud music after 11:00.  In those days, there was only one punishment for breaking the rules.  You were banished from the protection of the tribe and your life expectancy went from short and brutal to zero.  Early humans understood that society was fragile, and if some wiseass wanted to be a jerk, he endangered the entire group.  It was simple, rough and ready, but it worked.  Humans, as a species, not only survived but thrived as a communal beast.

As our society progressed and got more complicated, so did our laws.  We still had to protect ourselves against the unreasonable acts of certain individuals, but we measured the punishment in accordance with the severity of the crime.  We remember this period today in the often quoted homily “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  These were still simple laws, but they worked well because everybody in the group understood the rules, and they were enforced by the entire community.  For example, if Benjamin got caught eating Abraham’s carrots, he was expected to replace them – with a little extra for Abraham’s trouble – and all was forgiven.  Once again, these rules allowed us to progress as a society because we didn’t have to spend all our time guarding ourselves and our property against theft and vandalism, and we could concentrate on other things, like food and shelter.

As our society progressed even further, more and more people came under the protection of the law.  Our rural villages developed into urban towns and started to interact with other large groups who had also adapted laws to protect their societies.  This caused a serious problem, though, because our social groups were getting so large that not everybody knew all the rules nor understood them.  Plus, although the rules between different groups were very similar, sometimes individual laws were surprisingly different.  For instance, if the people in Town A understood that donkeys must be tethered, when those same people went to Town B, where donkeys were allowed to roam free, their first thought would have been, “Wow! Free donkeys!” and they would have helped themselves.  You can see how there’d be some misunderstandings; wars have been fought over lesser things.

Luckily, it was about that time that a guy named Hammurabi came along.  Hammurabi was a Babylonian king who took all the rules he could think of and wrote them down.  (Actually, he had them chiselled into stone, but the result was the same.)  It was called the Hammurabi Code; a big, heavy copy of it is sitting in the Louvre in Paris, if you want to take a look.  Hammurabi also set down all the punishments that fit the crimes, so everybody in his kingdom knew exactly where they stood – vis a vis the law.

This was great, and even though laws changed dramatically over the centuries, Hammurabi’s system worked for the next three plus millennia.

But, wait a minute!  It ain’t over yet!

Fast forward to the late 1960s, and suddenly everything went to hell.  Somehow (for no reason I can fathom) our society decided that nearly 4,000 years of success didn’t matter, and we’d actually gotten the entire system backwards.  Back in those days, the thinking was: we’d been making laws to protect society from those individuals who wish to do it harm (murderers, thieves and such) but what we need are laws to protect those individuals (murderers, thieves and such) from the wrath of the society they’d harmed!  The idea caught on even though it’s based on a weird dichotomy.  The fact is, the only way to protect individual rights within a society is to have a strong society to begin with, and protecting individuals who wish to harm it weakens our collective trust.  In other words, if Benjamin gets caught eating Abraham’s carrots and nothing’s done about it, the rest of us begin to think we should get some free carrots, as well.  Do that enough times and it’s called anarchy.

It’s an interesting experiment: I’m curious to see how long it takes us to get out of it.