Saturday, January 30, 2016

Success is Attitude and a Lot of Aardvark -- The Colonel Carries On #16

by Raspberry (“Razz”) Matazz

Epigraph: If a thing has been said well, have no scruple; steal it, but do so like a professional: leave no fingerprints.

The perfect crime is not the one for which the criminal is not caught, but the one the commission of which is never detected.

All poets steal from other poets. Young poets, full of themselves, call it hommage. Older poets prefer the name “stealing.”

If fifty million people agree on a foolish thing, it’s still a foolish thing. Individual results may vary.

Men interested in women’s clothes aren’t interested in women. Men who like women don’t notice what they wear.

In any well-governed state, wealth is sacred. In a democracy, it’s the only thing that's sacred.

Ignorance and error are like bread and water, necessities of life.

The poor pay cash not from virtue, but because no one will extend them credit.

It’s human nature to think wisely and act stupidly.

Concerning the future, it’s best not to hope or fear.

Everything good in us and valuable in life, like courage, pity, and virtue, comes from suffering.

Forced to choose between crime and cruelty, choose crime.

Great deeds require not only action, but dreams; not just plans, but faith.

It is better to understand a few things than to misunderstand many.

When you haven't many friends and throw a little party, you needn’t answer the phone, because you know it isn’t one of your friends.

You can’t make a natural morality, because nature has no moral principles, does not respect human life, and knows neither good nor evil.

The worst way to define humanity? “Rational animal.”

I’m willing to die for my country, but not for the rich.

A writer improves by planing down sentences.

Remove the lies from our history books and nothing of interest remains.

Between knowledge and imagination, imagination always wins.

Aim to make people happy, and you will make them miserable.

Never stop working; rest by changing tasks.

Enthusiasm is folly, much preferable to indifference.

He has all the virtues I despise and none of the vices I admire.

The art of teaching is to make young minds itch and to give them the tools with which to make scratchers.

Even welcome change is sad, for we must leave part of ourselves behind. We die to one life to enter another.

Some people’s best talk is about themselves. Let them shine.

On innocence and naivete: let your heart be a lamb and your mind a fox.

A good critic tells of his adventures among masterpieces.

Not without reason, gods conform closely to the sentiments of their worshippers.

The greatest changes in social life take place imperceptibly, visible only from afar.

Humanity is its own greatest asset.

War used to be continuous. Now the intervals are often longer than the wars. Dare we hope that war belongs to an era that is passing?

If I won the lottery, I would divide my time between singing hymns, studying grammar, and meditating on eternal truths.

Most people don’t know what to do with this life, yet they yearn for another one that goes on endlessly.

Chance is God’s pseudonym; he doesn’t always want to sign his work.

By accepting a mass neurosis, devout believers ward off certain individual neuroses.

As I ceased to be a boy, I liked myself less. As I grow old, the process continues.

No government should ever lack for critics, and where there's a free press, none ever will.

A friend used to run an institution’s garden, supervising several employees. One confided that he binge-drank every weekend and showed up Mondays with the d.t.’s. “Really?” my friend said. “What do you see?” “Oh, you know: little sailors, stuff like that.”

A fool can seem witty if he but keep silent, a trick known also to the wise.

A fool thinks himself a wise man; a wise man knows himself a fool.

A fool and his wise man are soon parted, everywhere but in adages.

Heaven and earth came by chance, but all the skill of art cannot make an oyster?

An education isn't what you know, but what you know how to look up.

Vita brevis, Proust longus.

When I die, my work will fall into critical disfavor for a while, after which I will be fondly remembered and my critics forgotten.

From kindly nature we get sturdy self-esteem to dull the knowledge of our idiocy.

We suffer from socialism under a false name. Set that right, and we’ll have all the relief a sick man gets from turning over in bed.

Contempt is the best predictor of divorce.

Weak men think it a sign of character never to change one’s mind.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
I am of the multitude that believes the Moon landing was a hoax and Mensa is keeping the Mars colony a secret.
There is a great deal of ruin in a nation. --Adam Smith

“So blue her eyes.” --John Gorka

People have shorter attention spans these days. --Gail Collins

Call me Ishmael. Okay, we’re done here.

It is a far better thing I do now
than I have ever done,
and a far better rest to which I go
than some insomniac nun.

Expostulation of the week: “Good Lord ‘n’ butter!”

1 comment:

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...


I read nearly to the end of your list of aphorisms, and was about to be insulted that I was somehow not alluded to. But I was deluded by my fear of non-allusion when I read the Gorka quote, and understood what you were listening to Wednesday morning.

That being said, it's been said.

Billy Bragg paid homage (and likely pronounced homage correctly due to his East London cockney accent) to Paul Simon when he stole the first two lines of Leaves That Are Green for his own A New England. It remains Bragg's biggest "hit" as recorded by Kirsty MacColl, daughter of Ewan MacColl (born James Henry Miller), who never liked the version of Dirty Old Town by the Pogues, though they nailed that song to the post far better than did the author. Bragg wrote a few more verses to A New England for Kirsty, who died after being hit on the noggin by a speeding boat (death by "the boats" or scaphism, is something altogether different, and Persian, and not worth the Wiki if you intend to eat lunch today) in Mexico, and they are similar to one of your aphorisms. Or was it an apopthegm?

Bragg wrote, and MacColl sang:
Once upon a time at home
I sat beside the telephone
Waiting for someone to pull me through
When at last it didn’t ring I knew it wasn’t you.

Which, in it's musical augmentation, was borrowed from Dorothy Parker, who said (perhaps at a First Nation Round Table), "When the phone didn't ring. I knew it was you."

That Bragg was quoting Parker so early in his career, belies his stance as a working class hero, but since he stole from the literary elite, to give to the hungry pop audience, redeems him in some unsatisfying way.

BTW, my name is MacEoghain. But, please, call me Jackson.