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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

3 New Maxims

I'm not a big fan of cliches. I find them mostly to be intellectually lazy, and on the few occasions they're not, they're just downright stupid. They're often times misinterpreted and then misapplied, which can be maddening to the point of shutting down my brain entirely. Usually they're just a vast oversimplification of a real emotion/position/observation or a substitution for one that doesn't exist. Of course, this makes my love for sports talk radio all the more inexplicable - because without overused cliches, such radio would be 75% silence. And to be honest, the number of times per day I can hear "it is what is is" or "at the end of the day..." without going completely postal is getting down to single digits.

But perhaps our reliance on age old sayings is simply a function of there not being any newer, better, and more applicable sayings which more accurately reflect the times we live in - and that won't get old any time soon (or at least any faster than the latest Britney Spears album). So in order to fill that void, I'm happy to offer three new "old sayings":
  1. You cannot use intelligence to fight stupidity. This is the post-modern version of "Never wrestle with a pig - you get dirty and the pig likes it." Trying to have an intellectual argument with dumb people (e.g. Tea Party Republicans, religious zealots, or Twilight fans), is akin to trying to do the same thing with a 5 year old. All of the ideologies that have stupidity as the primary characteristic of their participants also have it as a prerequisite. If these folks could be swayed with intellect, fact and/or logic - they wouldn't believe what they do. So save your breath, shake your head, and remember, the natural enemy of stupidity isn't intelligence or education, it's natural selection.

  2. It's o.k. to not care what anyone thinks; it's not o.k. to not care what everyone thinks. In this age of moral relativism and "live and let live" it's become wildly popular to regard all outside input, no matter how overwhelming, universal or convincing, as ill-intended and without merit. Unfortunately, this self-absorbed delusion has nearly eviscerated the concept of shame from our youngest generations. It is actually a good practice to not allow the opinions of one individual, especially one you don't know well, to affect you in any significant way. However, if everyone in the room thinks you're an asshole... guess what?

  3. If you can't be smart, be cute; if you can't be cute, be funny. This is an excellent maxim for use in business or school, and it's come from years and years of observation. The reality of any purported meritocracy is that there are always "other" ways to make it to the top - this should be evident from the fact that if you've ever been involved in one, you're well aware that the people at the top of that organization are rarely the most talented or capable people within it. But with a little (honest) self-evaluation, and the daily use of this particular saying, you've got a recipe for success. And, as it turns out, an excellent explanation for why I'm always telling jokes.
I expect there are more out there (especially since I made these three up on my own), so I'll leave it to you, dear readers, to comment with the best ones I left out.


Denise said...

I would humbly suggest inserting semicolons in maxims #2 and #3. They read like comma splices. And yes, law school made me even more grammar-anal than I was before. :)

Glenn H. Truitt said...

There you go, D... thanks for the heads up! Now you owe me a great fourth new "old saying". I'm hoping for a Denise classic!

Matthew P Clement said...

I'd like to offer some mixed metaphors:

- It's not rocket surgery!

- Does the Pope poop in the woods? (Or: Is the bear Catholic?)

- He's out shaking babies and kissing hands.

Bonus: He's not the sharpest spork on the Christmas tree.

Arturo said...

Although these are not my own, a few came to mind that I stand by:

- There's only one way to find out.

- Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.

- It ain't no fun if the homie can't have none.

Karen Soltero said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a total waste of time your life must be. This is the best you could come up with? You must have sat in front of your computer for hours coming up with the right mix of "bitchy with the waiter" and "look at me, i'm a lib!" I'm not sure about anybody else but I couldnt be LESS impressesd with you or your new maxims. I hope some poor unfortunate isn't paying you for garbage like this. I know you think your so called progressive thinking is cool and hip, and there are 1000's of dirty disenfranchised college students that would agree with you. But thats all it Is your bashing doing anything good for you or the people around you? Didnt think so

Anonymous said...

Everything the Tea Party predicted about Obamacare has come true. So who's not using logic now?


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