I Wish I’d Said That – 2021

As I get older, I realize a ton of people are a lot smarter than I am.  When I look at the world (even wearing my rose-coloured glasses) mostly all I see is benign chaos.  However, some people can look through all that and see where the little bits of truth are hiding.  These are the folks who instantly grasp an idea, distill it down to a single sentence, flip it onto their tongues and then effortlessly blend it into the conversation.  I know envy is one of the 7 Deadly Sins, but, for all the world, I envy these people because on the rare occasions when I do that, I spend the rest of the day walking just a little taller.  Here are some examples and each one, when read carefully, demonstrates some serious understanding of the world we live in.

Journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones is dead,” to people who didn’t know he was alive.
G.K. Chesterton

The perfect lover is one who turns into a pizza at 4:00 am.
Charles Pierce

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
Ann Landers

It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
Voltaire

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks for a funeral.
H.L. Mencken

The trouble with her is she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car.
Kenneth Tynan

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing — and then marry him.
Cher

An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.
Dylan Thomas

It was as stupid as taking a cauldron and a broom to a witch hunt.
Najira Olsen

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.
A.H. Miller

Do you realize that, if it weren’t for Edison, we’d be watching television by candlelight?
Al Boliska

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
Jean Rostand

Love thy neighbour as thyself, but choose your neighbourhood.
Louise Beal

The average person thinks he isn’t.
L. Lorenzoni

What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to.
Hansell Duckett

We’re all in this alone.
Lily Tomlin

Where did I find the time to not read so many books?
Karl Krause

A fair fight is the one you win.
French Foreign Legion

And that greatest philosopher of them all — Anonymous

Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.

If it wasn’t for the last minute, nobody would get anything done.

Whoever said “money can’t buy happiness,” didn’t know where to shop.

No one ever bets enough money on a winning horse.

If you talk to God, you’re praying.  If God talks to you, you’re nuts.

Originally written September, 2017

Stuff We Need — RIGHT NOW!

ideas

Despite the current mess (and everybody squawking about it) we live in the most benevolent society in history.  We have more literacy, less poverty, better health care, better education, better nutrition and easier access to information than at any time since Lucy and her girlfriends decided to take a stroll in Ethiopia, some 3 million years ago.  Unfortunately, we’re not that good at using these benefits to our best advantage – yet.  For example, we wasted tons of money and years of research on Viagra when a little marijuana and some decent porn would have done the trick.  Personally, I think our endless cycle of herbal shampoos, sugar water beverages and bum warmer automobiles has got to stop, and we need to concentrate on things that will really benefit our world.  So, in that vein, here is just some of the stuff we need – RIGHT NOW!

An electronic collar that zaps you if you’ve forgotten something at the grocery store.

A mute button for vegans.  Once a vegan has publically declared their veganness (veganosity?) eight times, they must wear a mute button for the comfort and convenience of the rest of us.

A sexier name for the Covid masks we’re all going to wear.  Might I suggest Cloak of Responsibility?

A universal restraining order against stupid celebrities.  Any celebrity who makes three (3) stupid comments in a calendar month is forbidden from coming within 100 metres of a microphone.

AutoCorrect that knows the difference between “your” and “you’re” and “there,” their” and “they’re” — so I don’t look like a moron when I’m not paying attention.

A written test before anyone is allowed to vote.  Even multiple choice (guess?) would be better than nothing.

Transparent toasters.  So we can at least see what that maniac machine is doing to our bread!

All statues turned into holograms so they can simply be switched off and changed when public perception turns against them.  Unfortunately, pigeons would be denied a place to – uh – sit, but too bad, pigeon lovers — we can’t please everybody!

Skip the Dumbass.  Like Skip the Dishes, but instead of food, this online service will deliver an intelligent person to your doorstep for an enjoyable conversation without a political or social agenda.

Laundry hampers that automatically wash clothes, dryers that fold them and a robot something that puts them away.

A Nobel Prize for Buffoonery.

A junk food that tastes super good but has negative calories so when you binge-eat a bowl of it while you’re binge-watching Netflix, you actually lose weight.

Voice-activated Smart Microwaves (with a cute female name) that remember how you like your frozen stuff nuked.
“Madison, beef and bean burrito.”
“According to your burrito history, you prefer two minutes on High.  Is that correct?”
(You just read that in a computer voice, didn’t you?)

Compulsory therapy for old men who insist on riding those extra noisy-ass motorcycles.

Something (I don’t know what) that gets the last bit of peanut butter out of the bottom of the jar.

And finally:

A secret society where the members memorize history to preserve it until those “culture cancellers” get over themselves — kinda like what the people in Fahrenheit 451 did for books and literature.

 

What I Know Now – I Didn’t Know Then

ideas

I’ve been roaming this planet for a few years now, and I’m constantly amazed at how little I know.  In fact, my comprehension of ideas and events seems to be working backwards — like an intellectual Benjamin Button.  Stuff that I knew with all certainty to be true when I was a younger man has become – not so much.  Here are just a few examples of how dead wrong I was.

When I was a kid, I was certain that the best minds would always, eventually, rise to shed light on, and perhaps even vanquish, the dark forces of ignorance.  Welcome to 2020, boys and girls, when the leader of the Free World is going to be either Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders or – holy crap! – Joe Biden.

As a young person, I believed information and education were the keys to solving the world’s problems.   Not even close!  Here we are, the most educated population in history, with all the information in the universe available to us at the click of a mouse, and what are we doing?  Playing “Fortnite” and binge-watching The Walking Dead.  I rest my case.

I used to think that popular democracy was a good thing.  ‘Fraid not!  I have one word for you – Twitter.

At one time, I believed that intelligence was a sliding scale.  It was my assumption that all people were relatively smart, depending on how you looked at it.  Nope!  The world is full of evidence that stupid is real, it’s everywhere and, in some cases, it’s thick enough to cut with a knife.  Plus, it’s contagious.  Hang out with stupid people long enough and you’ll end up buying outrageous amounts of toilet paper because – uh – a bunch of other people are buying it?  (Too soon?)

And finally:

At one time, I thought the truth was an absolute.  Actually, the truth is a moveable feast, and thank God for that, because there are certain times when I want to be lied to.  For example, I don’t want to know how many nuclear weapons have been lost since 1945.  Just tell me none and I’ll be fine with that.  Nor do I want to know how close we are to economic disaster, why climate change can’t be reversed or what kind of bums and noses are in my hotdog.  The fact is, in some cases, the truth will not set you free — it’ll just totally stress you out.