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  • mistermuse 12:01 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , commercialization, , , , Napoleon Bonaparte, , , , quotations, , , ,   

    HUMOR INCORPORATED 

    Humor must both teach and preach if it would live forever; by forever, I mean 30 years.
    –Mark Twain

    If Webster’s definition of humor as the “quality of imagination quick to perceive the ludicrous or express itself in an amusing way” is on the mark, Twain underestimated the staying power of his humor by nigh onto 100 years (and counting). But “staying” is just one of humor’s possible powers, and because (as Lord Acton famously observed) power tends to corrupt, humor cannot absolutely avoid Acton’s axiom.

    My musing on this subject is occasioned by April being National Humor Month — so proclaimed in 1976 by Larry Wilde, Founder/Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor: http://www.larrywilde.com/

    As you might expect, The Carmel Institute of Humor is not without serious competition. A similar entity I’ve come across is The Humor Project, Inc., founded by Joel Goodman in 1977 “as the first organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of humor” — a claim that suggests a merger of Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking” with funny business. And, from such appealing funny businesses as Goodman’s, have big businesses grown (judging by their “power” promotions): https://www.humorproject.com/

    Now, far be it from me to regard the corporatizing of humor as a phony business — hey, there are worse things to make of humor than a commodity, and worse ways to earn a buck than to commercialize the process. But, purist that I am, I see making humor in the same light as making love: much to be preferred on a human level than as an industry (the virtues of consumer capitalism notwithstanding). Nonetheless, I’m not so doctrinaire as to deny either humor or sex to potential customers when free(?) enterprise comes a-courting.

    Unlike Larry Wilde and Joel Goodman, mistermuse does not have a Speaker’s Bureau, a three-day Annual Conference (discounted fee for early registration), a five-point humor program, seminars or workshops. But mistermuse does offer an every-five-days discourse on subjects of interest (his, if not yours) — usually with tongue in cheek, and never with hat in hand. Dis course today concludes with ten humorous quotes, which come with a funny-back guarantee if he doesn’t think they’re priceless:

    Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.Oscar Wilde (not to be confused with Larry – or Curly or Moe, for that matter)
    Conference: a meeting held to decide when the next meeting will take place. –Evan Esar
    You can’t study comedy; it’s within you. –Don Rickles (the Donald Trump of insult-comics)
    Start every day off with a smile and get it over with. –W.C. Fields
    Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else. –Will Rogers
    Culture is roughly anything we do and monkeys don’t. –Lord Raglan
    In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap. –Napoleon Bonesapart (I’ve been waiting a long time for the opportunity to butcher that name)
    Politicians do more funny things naturally than I can think of doing purposely. –Will Rogers
    Humor is just another defense against the universe. –Mel Brooks
    Wit – the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out. –Ambrose Bierce

    Over, and out.

     

     
    • Cynthia Jobin 9:52 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Why do some people have to ruin the best things in life by turning them into a National Month or an institution/organization of some sort? I thoroughly enjoyed this post, and being partial to the more sardonic (sarcastic? satirical?) edges of humor, was glad to see some of my favorites featured…Oscar Wilde, W.C. Fields, Ambrose Bierce, and of course, Mark Twain.
      On the distaff side, one of my favorites is Dorothy Parker. I offer this bon mot of hers when she was hanging out with her fellow wits challenging each other to compose a funny sentence using the word “horticulture”….Parker’s contribution was: “You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 10:28 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love Dorothy Parker’s wit and probably should have included a Parker quote, but I’d set myself a limit of ten and liked the ten I’d chosen (plus, I think I already used that great quote before, though it certainly would’ve fit well here, and I thank you for offering it).

      To me, the quote that surprised me the most (in that I didn’t expect such profundity from the likes of Mel Brooks – what’s more, in so few words) was his “Humor is just another defense against the universe.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 11:03 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I like the Rickles quote. Well, I like all of them, but that one has always struck me as true. I would love to be funny, but just don’t have the gene. Fortunately, we don’t have to be funny ourselves to enjoy good wit and a belly laugh 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:13 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Fat people take heart – the bigger the belly, the more capacity to laugh! No wonder Santa Claus is so jolly! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:09 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Humor is what separates humans from animals. That, and making tools. And not being afraid of vacuum cleaners.

      Like

      • mistermuse 12:21 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Such separation is fortunate indeed, otherwise animals would be laughing themselves silly at what fools we humans be.

        Like

    • Garfield Hug 11:26 am on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great share 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:23 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Share and share a like, I always say. 🙂

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 8:42 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      One good belly laugh extends human life by one year ( My daughter the nurse .)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Todd Duffey Writes on Things 11:21 am on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Why do witticisms always come from people at least two generations before ours? Those people were way ahead of their time…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:06 pm on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As one of those people born more than two generations before this one, I thank you for the tribute. 🙂 Seriously, though, I think there still are such people – they just don’t get the recognition they did in the days before mass instant gratification “re-conditioned” us and became the norm. Wit demands at least a bit of reflection. Who does that anymore?

      Like

    • Don Frankel 11:30 am on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” Mark Twain. My hero.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:30 pm on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I would stand corrected if I didn’t happen to agree (well, except for politicians – they’ve been withstanding the assault of laughter since most of them evolved from baboons).

      Like

    • Don Frankel 7:03 am on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      No Muse you’re right. Laughing at elected officials is actually a healthy sign of a society and poking fun is a good thing too. But when they are cooked and ushered off the stage laughter is the last thing they hear. Think Anthony Weiner here and Nixon too.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:42 am on April 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Good point, Don. We in the West take our freedom to laugh at politicians for granted. Any North Korean who dared so much as think about laughing at President Kim Jung-un wouldn’t live to think again.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Glenn Beck, , , , Pat Robertson, political dysfunction, , quotations, ,   

    YOU ARE WHO YOU ELECT 

    You are what you eat. –Dr. Victor Lindlahr, nutritionist (1897-1969)

    Pun aside, a lot of whater has passed under the bridge since Dr. Lindlahr coined the above phrase 75+ years ago, and the older I get, the more I’ve taken his caution to heart….with resulting good health to show for it (if I should drop dead tomorrow, I shall reluctantly admit I came to that conclusion a bit prematurely).

    But I have also come to see a parallel to this axiom in the public sector: it’s no accident that we have political dysfunction. We are who we elect. Our elected (and wanna-be elected) officials aren’t anomalies who have somehow passed under voters’ attention spans, leaving us to wonder how such coarse incivility found its way into the political mainstream. Well, wonder no more:

    http://www.gocomics.com/wumo/2016/03/28

    Obviously, then, eatin’ and politickin’ have a lot in common. As with our intellectual standards, if our table manners go down the drain, we regress into uncivilized louts. To combat this uncouth scourge, we must remember our etiquette. Politicians need to model their behavior after the culinary refinement of the epicure:

    Therefore, let us get back to the good old days when politicians may have been idiots, but at least they weren’t tasteless idiots with little sense of propriety. Take these examples:

    It’s time to put our blood or our urine where our mouth is. — Rep. Pat Murphy (D-IA) on drug testing, Feb. 1997

    We have brave men and women who are willing to step forward because they know what’s at stake. They’re willing to sacrifice their lives for this great country. What I’m asking all of you tonight is not to put on a uniform. Put on a [Rick Santorum] bumper sticker. Is it that much to ask? Is it that much to ask to step up and serve your country? –Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Jan. 2006

    My problem was, I was too honest with you the first time. –Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-FL), explaining to her constituents why she changed positions.

    The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, antifamily political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, , kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians. –Pat Robertson, 1992 fund raising letter

    They intend to vote on the Sabbath, during Lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God. This is an affront to God. –Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

    Please burn before reading. –1972 Nixon White House illegal campaign tactics memo

    My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will never, never surrender to what is right. –Dan Quayle, Vice President under George H.W. Bush

    I don’t think we came from monkeys. I think that’s ridiculous. I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet. –Glenn Beck (who apparently hadn’t looked in the mirror lately)

    OK, Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck aren’t politicians. Hey, nobody’s perfect. Well, maybe Sarah Palin is, but we don’t have time to do her justice, so I’ll close with this reminder:

     

     

     

     

     
    • Midwestern Plant Girl 5:24 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I love this quote by Alexander Tyler (or whomever, as I’ve seen speculation he said it. However, it is an awesome quote! )
      The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

      From bondage to spiritual faith;
      From spiritual faith to great courage;
      From courage to liberty;
      From liberty to abundance;
      From abundance to complacency;
      From complacency to apathy;
      From apathy to dependence;
      From dependence back into bondage

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:41 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        The patriotic concept of “American Exceptionalism” may have its appeal, but when it’s an OVER-patriotic concept, I fear it’s leading America down the path of the sequence you outline.

        P.S. To those who read this post prior to a half hour ago, I apologize for the confusing link which followed the first two paragraphs (due to my technological incompetence). The wumo cartoon which appears there now is the correct link.

        Liked by 2 people

    • ladysighs 6:01 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My only thought is “This too shall pass.”

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 7:54 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Let us hope it passes before blindness makes America unable to see what we’re eating, election-wise!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia Jobin 8:32 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got very side-tracked here—enjoyably so—with more videos of the Hoosier Hot Shots….”From the Indies to the Andes in His Undies,”…etc. Thanks for the introduction!

      Liked by 2 people

    • arekhill1 9:45 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Leave it to Pat Robertson to hit the nail right on the head–it’s the girls that are going to do all the heavy lifting, as usual.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:46 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Cynthia, I must confess a weakness for the Hoosier Hot Shots (I own dozens of their old 78s), which I guess proves that appreciation of wit and “cornball humor” can co-exist in one package. Now if only conservatives and progressives could learn to co-exist cooperatively in one country! 😦

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:58 am on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Ricardo, it’s not too late to send Pat Robertson (born March 22, 1930) a belated Happy Birthday card to show your appreciation for all he’s done to keep this country from going to the dogs (so it can go to the troglodytes instead).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mél@nie 2:49 pm on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I do hope the blond wigged ignorant, racist, barking character will lose…

      • * *

      @”Pat Robertson and Glenn Beck aren’t politicians.” – yeah, I do recall those “bright minds” who have invented hot water(LOL!), and another one “flush limbo”(Rush Limbaugh!)… brrr!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:29 pm on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Some say that’s Trump’s real hair, but in any case, I’m far more concerned about what’s in his head, not on top of it. Speaking of questioning what’s real, Robertson, Beck and Limbaugh (not to mention Sarah Palin) must be cartoon characters — it’s hard to believe real people could be such buffoons (on second thought, maybe not so hard to believe).

        Liked by 1 person

    • tomorrowdefinitely 2:55 pm on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great quotes, my favourite is of course Pat Robertson’s prognosis of what feminism entails, he he he!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 3:48 pm on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Note that Robertson’s “prognosis” was stated in a fund raising letter. As a man of God, he not only knows and proclaims God’s will, but knows how to reach into his followers’ pockets while doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 4:14 pm on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      There is one candidate and only one candidate who can explain to America that it is rough. And, if they don’t get it, she can explain that it is ruff, ruff. And, if they don’t get it, or don’t like it or her, she can always pee on their leg.

      http://www.rabbithashhistsoc.org/the-mayor/current-mayor-lucy-lou/

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:59 pm on March 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Unfortunately, I haven’t heard a peep – or should I say, a ruff – out of Lucy Lou lately, Don (ever since fire destroyed the Rabbit Hash General Store). Apparently fearing a vast right paw conspiracy, the Secret Service is still insisting that she live indognito. I hear The Donald was asked to have “his people” look into it, but The Donald wasn’t biting, as he’d rather face Hillary in the election because he doesn’t think she would pee on his leg….plus, she’s very vulnerable as long as her pee-mails remain under investigation.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 6:57 pm on March 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Pee-mails? I love it. I might steal it.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:26 pm on March 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hillary probably loves it too. If she can keep her pee-mails in the mainstream, investigators will find it hard to build a cut-and-dry case against her.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 12:30 pm on July 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      of course agree that morons abound in GOP…and, interesting to me u show “Etiquette Blues” – on one of my CD’s “Who Could Imagine” is my anti GOP song “Etiquette.” nice. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:15 pm on July 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I see that Trump just bounced ahead of Hillary in the post-GOP convention poll, which suggests to me that moron-ism is spreading outside of GOP circles. If Hillary doesn’t get a similar bounce after the Dem convention, she (and the country) could be in big trouble.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , lawyers, , November 30, , , punning, quotations, , ,   

    30 NOVEMBER — TO THE SWIFT 

    As 3o days hath the month of November,
    Today marks the end of a month to remember.
    Swift doth the day pass into December,
    Ere the twain shall meet….in a glowing ember.

    The above is my Lilliputian ode to two literary giants who were born on this day: Jonathan Swift  in 1667, Mark Twain in 1835. This post celebrates the former, the latter having been extolled in a post one year ago today (THE UNIVERSAL MARK TWAIN).

    Jonathan Swift’s pièce de résistance, of course, was GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, a book I gobbled up when about 12 years old (in an abridged version for children), and still own. However, at that age I didn’t fully appreciate that it was much more than a grand adventure tale — it’s also a masterpiece of parody and social/political satire, as exemplified by the enmity between the empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu over which end of an egg should be broken first before being eaten — a conflict which put Gulliver in the middle between the Big Endians and the Small Endians. Well, I suppose that makes just as much sense as real people fighting over whose god is the Big Enchilada.

    Let us turn now to three quotations from the unabridged GULLIVER’S TRAVELS:

    Here commences a new dominion acquired with a title by divine right. Ships are sent with the first opportunity; the natives driven out or destroyed; their princes tortured to discover their gold; a free license give to all acts of inhumanity and lust, the earth reeking with the blood of its inhabitants: and this execrable crew of butchers, employed in so pious an expedition, is a modern colony, sent to convert an idolatrous and barbarous people.

    The tiny Lilliputians surmise that Gulliver’s watch may be his god, because it is that which, he admits, he seldom does anything without consulting.

    It is a maxim among these lawyers, that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind. These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions; and the judges never fail of decreeing accordingly.

    I close with three more Swift quotes, the last of which I intend to inscribe on a club to beat anyone who would disparage my stunning cunning punning:

    When the world has once begun to use us ill, it afterwards continues the same treatment with less scruple or ceremony, as men do to a whore.

    Words are the clothing of our thoughts.

    Punning is a talent which no man affects to despise except he that is without it.

     

    –30–

     

     
    • linnetmoss 7:26 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If only there were more authors with the wit of these two! Love the quote about punning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:34 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Both seem to have had much in common as to how they viewed their fellow man, though I gather Swift was regarded as even more of a misanthrope than Twain. In any case, is there really much difference between a realist and a misanthrope, other than a matter of degree? 😦 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:59 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      People are ambitious. They come up with rationales as they go or afterwards.

      Like

      • mistermuse 1:47 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Right you are, Don — though I wouldn’t confine coming up with rationales just to the ambitious. For example, I have no problem coming up with rationales for being a couch potato on Sundays, because, as I tell my wife, watching football keeps me out of trouble.

        Like

    • arekhill1 10:23 am on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Substitute “women” for “eggs” and the passions of the Small Endians regarding the Big Endians become more understandable. Is this what Swift really meant?

      Like

      • mistermuse 2:13 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Well, given the Swift quote about how men treat a whore, it appears he was able to put himself in a woman’s place and see things from her viewpoint. He was, after all, a priest in the Church of Ireland (a branch of the Anglican Church), which afforded him somewhat more latitude (in theory) than if he’d been a Catholic priest.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:24 pm on November 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re not a Psychopath Muse, who sees people as objects that just need to be swept out of the way on your way to wherever and whatever. Perhaps on the way to the greater good.

      Like

    • mistermuse 12:14 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I’m probably more of a muse-anthrope — but whatever I am….

      Like

    • Jane 12:54 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I also loved Gulliver’s Travels as a child (the abridged version). It was only much later in life I understood that there was more to it than a children’s story. I must admit I have never read the unabridged version so thank you for sharing some of it along with your thoughts. Just a comment on abridged versions. I read so many as a child and they were a great way to introduce me gently and enjoyably to many great authors and playwrights. Reading Shakespeare’s plays as a book of stories with pictures as a child was great preparation for being able to understand his works later.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:57 am on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your comment. I didn’t appreciate Shakespeare until later because I wasn’t “properly” introduced to him as a child. But, as they say, all good things come to those who wait (if you live long enough, which, fortunately, I have).

      Like

    • Outlier Babe 10:50 am on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I have read the unabridged version but see I must go back and not only do so again, but again annually or so. Will buy a copy. Hadn’t read “Travels” since college. Decades later, I’m slower–less swift 😉 –but more patient. That makes me smart enough now to read Swift properly.

      (Aspie ego-saving non-sequiter: I was always smart enough to read Twain properly.)

      I like your posts so far, Muse-Man. Maybe I’ll read some more some time. If I’ve got nothin’ better to do.

      –O. Babe

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:15 pm on February 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That makes two of us, O. Babe, but I hope to read more of your posts sooner rather than….well, as soon as possible after researching, writing and editing my next post on Feb. 10 (I’m cursed with being something of a perfectionist, so it takes me a few days put it all together & get it – hopefully – right).

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:17 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: greed, , , , income inequality, living wage, , , , price, quotations,   

    DOLLARS TO DOUGH-NUTS 

    Like a full moon, the mere thought of lots of money seems to make some people crazy. No doubt you’ve noticed with lotteries, for example, that the higher the jackpot, the more people play the lottery. I mean (leaving aside the astronomical odds against winning), what could you do with $500+ million that you couldn’t do with $250+ million — except maybe buy a sports team, put your money where your political ideology is (think Koch Brothers),  or build a Trump Tower-like monument to your ego?

    So I found it refreshing to read recently about a guy who not only didn’t let dough go to his head, but stood income inequality on its head: Dan Price, a successful Seattle business owner who decided to help the people who helped him grow his business, by lowering his almost $1 million annual salary to $70,000 and increasing the salary of his 120 employees to that same level. According to Bloomberg Business data, America’s CEO-to-worker pay has increased 1,000% (to a ratio of 300+ to 1) since 1950. Price believed he could make the ratio 1-to-1 without raising prices or decreasing services to customers, and Price was right. Employee morale grew even stronger and business thrived. As a result of this heresy, he was named 2014 Entrepreneur of the year by Entrepreneur Magazine. I suspect it’s not a magazine run by conservatives.

    As entrepreneur of this blog, I will now attempt to improve your morale by turning the remainder of this post over to the musings of others on the matter of money and affiliated subjects:

    Where I was brought up, we never talked about money because there was never enough to furnish a topic of conversation. –Mark Twain

    Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to shop. –Bo Derek

    The chief ingredient that makes expensive merchandise so expensive is profit. –Evan Esar

    I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need, if I die by four o’clock. –Henny Youngman

    The only thing wealth does for some people is to make them worry about losing it. —Antoine Rivarol

    Men make counterfeit money; in many more cases, money makes counterfeit men. –Sydney J. Harris

    The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated. —H.L.  Mencken

    The definition of a living wage depends upon whether you are getting it or giving it. –Evan Esar

    I spent a lot of money on booze, broads and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. –George Best

    The leaders of the French Revolution excited the poor against the rich; this made the rich poor, but it never made the poor rich. –Fisher Ames

    There are two classes of people: the have-nots and the have-yachts. –Evan Esar

    Greed is not a money issue. It’s a heart issue. –Andy Stanley

     

     

     
    • Don Frankel 6:52 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Call me a cynic but maybe this guy did this after 20 years of banking a million a year. Maybe?

      I don’t play lotteries or dream of a lot of money because I’m old enough to know that a lot of money only gets me in trouble. You can quote me on that Muse.

      Like

    • mistermuse 9:57 am on May 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Actually, the guy began his business in his college dorm in 2004 at age 19, so he probably didn’t start banking a million until 2005 (just joking – it may have been 2006 or 2007, ha ha).

      Glad to hear you don’t dream of a lot of money, Don. After all, there are a lot of other ways to get into trouble!

      Like

    • literaryeyes 3:14 pm on June 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This Evan Esar sounds interesting. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:14 pm on June 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Evan Esar is the author of a 1968 book titled 20,000 QUIPS & QUOTES (both his and those of others). I think you can still buy it online, if interested.

      Like

    • arekhill1 9:51 am on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Money is the root of all evil,. they say. Personally, I can’t afford all the evil I want, so it may be true.

      Like

    • mistermuse 3:30 pm on June 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not buying that, Ricardo – I hear you wouldn’t kill a fly (unless it was hovering around your glass of brew).

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:04 am on June 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , democracy, elitism, essays, hair, newspaper clippings, quotations, , Sydney J. Harris, The arts   

    HAIR AND OTHER CLIPPINGS 

    I usually don’t wait until the end of spring to do spring cleaning. I usually don’t do spring cleaning at all. It just so happens that I came across a forgotten bunch of saved clippings from an era when people still read newspapers — the 1970s — and I happen to be someone who hates to toss things out before finding a use for them….even when the chance of that happening is about as remote as finding a use for the clearing on top of my skull where dense foliage once grew. Oh, if only I’d kept it (that lush growth, not my skull), because what I’ve saved by not needing hair tonic has been more than offset by the need for sun screen.

    Anyway, I know that the only way I can bear to part with these historic paper documents is to preserve them here in paperless form, which makes the spring chickens among you the beneficiaries of the ancient wisdom you were deprived of. I only regret that time and space preclude more extensive excerpts than the quotations which follow.

    One of my favorite scribes back then appears to have been the somewhat somber syndicated columnist, Sydney J. Harris:

    The best argument for democracy is not that we are morally good enough for it, but that we are not morally good enough for anything else.

    No class, as a class, is to be trusted, whether it is a class of color, or religion, or economic level. The excesses of the French proletariat in the Revolution were as great as the ferocities of the aristocracy. Stalin’s regime was worse than the Czar’s he supplanted. The Christian church under Constantine persecuted the “pagans” as viciously as the Romans had persecuted early Christians. Etc. 

    One reason — perhaps the chief reason — that governments of all kinds go bad is that, with a few notable exceptions, the men who get political power are those who want it the most. The only man who can be trusted with authority, said Plato, is the man who does not want it; but his opposite is almost always the man who gets it.

    It is the image we pay homage to, more than the substance. In Shakespeare, nobody takes the fool seriously, even when he says the wisest things in the play. Dress him in judicial robes, and when he opens his mouth, no dog dare bark.

    Next is an uncredited article dated June 1, 1978 titled College Students Treat Religion Sardonically,  which reported some of the classifications listed on religious preference cards turned in by students at U. C. Berkeley. These included: Seventh Day Agnostic, Frogonian of the Latter Day Saints, Hedonist, Porsche Fanatic and First Fundamentalist Christian Church of the Prolonged Suffering and Gooey Death. It would be interesting to learn, 36 years later, how many of those responders remain faithful to the religion of their student days.

    Finally, there is this from a 1978 article by Harold C. Schonberg titled Elitism Is Good For The Arts:
    Intellectual activity, of which the arts is one manifestation, is and always has been elitist. Demagogues and yahoos do not like this; they would like to drag us down to their own level. We live, after all, in democratic America, where all men are created equal. But surely the Founding Fathers did not expect that phrase to be taken literally. They meant that all men are entitled to equal rights, which is a different proposition entirely. For all men are not created equal, and the Founding Fathers, a group of elitists themselves, knew this perfectly well. If all men were created equal, we would all be Newtons, Einsteins, Beethovens or Rembrandts.

    Or mistermuses.

    NOW I can pitch those old newspaper clippings. Well, maybe I’ll still save that last one.

     

     
    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:42 pm on June 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse, I am sending you this message from my new home in Florida. It is so beautiful her that I cannot begin to even describe it! I love our new apartment which is huge yet just the right size.
      I have read your poems listed above and I did enjoy them. Your were Numero Ono on my list to contact.

      Like

    • mistermuse 2:18 pm on June 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hello, Michaeline – glad to hear you’ve finally gotten moved into your new home in Florida. You’ve left behind some very hot, sticky weather, but it’s probably even hotter and stickier where you’ve moved to. Oh, well, at least you now have a nearby ocean to jump into for relief.
      As for poems, maybe you’re referring to my June 6 post, THE PERFECT POEM (which it is, whether it is or not – get it? Ha ha). The only poem I’ve posted since then is the short one in the post which follows this one.
      Gotta run. My wife says to come look – there’s a deer in the back yard.

      Like

  • mistermuse 3:30 am on June 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andrew Greely, , , Josef Stalin, quotations, , ,   

    WOULD THAT IT WERE SO 

    I found that there is only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.  –Rodney Dangerfield

    God Himself could not sink this ship.  –Deckhand on the Titanic

    I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious sensibilities of anyone.  –Charles Darwin, preamble to THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES

    Moral systems are devised not to make life difficult, not to forbid pleasure, but to protect human beings from other human beings.  –Rev. Andrew Greeley

    I tell you, cocaine isn’t habit forming. I know, because I’ve been taking it for years.  –Tallulah Bankhead

    Live and learn.  –Old proverb

    I think we agree, the past is over.  –George W. Bush (to John McCain)

    I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been to Oxford.  —Lord Halifax

    Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union.  –Josef Stalin

    Once you’ve seen one ghetto, you’ve seen them all.  –Spiro Agnew, former Governor and Vice President

    It’s so bad being homeless in winter. They should buy a plane ticket and go somewhere hot like the Caribbean where they can eat free fish all day.  –Lady Victoria Harvey

    We shall never make war except for peace.  —President William McKinley

    I thank you for your very kind attention from the bottom of my post.  –mistermuse

     

     

     

     

     

     
    • Don Frankel 6:55 am on June 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “You can observe a lot just by watching.” Yogi.

      I think on the past I’ll stick with Faulkner not that W didn’t say some memorable things. “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past.”

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:18 am on June 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You can’t go wrong with Yogi (Berra, for those who don’t know & can’t Berra not to). Love the Faulkner quote too.

      Like

  • mistermuse 5:39 am on May 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: a mind is a terrible thing to waste, , , Ivan the Terrible, quotations, ,   

    A WASTE OF BREADTH 

    People waste many things — time, money, talent, food (one way or another) — but I think the saddest waste of all is the mind. You probably do too — especially when you stop to think how mindless all those fools are who disagree with what you think. I believe it was Ivan Vasilyevich who first said A mind is a terrible thing to waste, the wisdom of which so impressed his comrads that he became forever famous as Ivan the Terrible (apparently he did not suffer fools gladly).

    So, it should be clear from the above that almost all waste can be controlled if we but set our minds to it. If you’re sitting around on your ass just wasting away, there is simply no excuse for it. Remember, mind over matter –it’s the only way to go if you want to get ahead, if you will. If you won’t, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    I hope I have inspired you to get a grip and stop squandering away your life, of which you have but one to live, unless you have faith in reincarnation. Even so, there’s no telling what you might come back as — a curably dying Christian Scientist, for example – so why take a chance? If you don’t believe me, perhaps you’ll listen to the testimony of these waste not, want not-ers:

    I spent 90% of my money on wine, women and song and just wasted the other 10%. –Ronnie Hawkins

    A day without laughter is a day wasted. –Charlie Chaplin

    The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. –Bertrand Russell

    The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life. –Muhammed Ali

    If I don’t learn something every single day, it’s a wasted day. –Leonard Lauder

    A Congressman’s idea of government waste is the money spent in another Congressman’s district. -Evan Esar

     I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. –William Shakespeare

    I wish I could stand on a busy street corner, hat in hand, and beg people to throw me all their wasted hours. –Bernard Berenson

     

     
    • arekhill1 9:00 am on May 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Or my personal observation on time wasted, “If life is so short, why do we spend it doing the same things over and over?”

      Like

    • mistermuse 11:55 am on May 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Good question. I’ve watched “Groundhog Day” over and over and still keep coming back for more.

      Like

    • paulwhitberg 12:15 pm on May 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve always loved the quote from Shakespeare, but the wonderful one from Ali is new to me.Thanks for sharing!

      Like

    • mistermuse 1:59 pm on May 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      If I had seen that quote unattributed, I wouldn’t have guessed it came from Ali. It’s good to see that he grew into that wisdom as he’s aged.

      Like

    • Thom Hickey 2:10 am on May 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks enjoyed the telling quotes. Will investigate archives. Regards Thom at the immortal jukebox.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:07 am on May 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thom, If you’re looking for a theme song for your blog, give a listen:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK72A_eV8Lg

      Like

    • Don Frankel 6:27 pm on May 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Muse if I didn’t waste my time what would I do with it?

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:55 pm on May 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t have an answer for that, Don — maybe Dr. Don could tell you.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:09 am on April 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , April 30, , Honest Abe, , , , , National Honesty Day, Oliver Wendell Holmes, quotations, , ,   

    IT’S NATIONAL HONESTY DAY — HONEST! 

    April 30 is National Honesty Day, and in all honesty, few are better qualified to wax veracious on this subject than I, or my name isn’t mistermuse. I have even composed a little poem (which I dedicate to my fellow man) to celebrate the occasion:

    Always be honest with yourself
    To make the most of life —
    It will save you untold trouble
    Unless you tell your wife.

    Of course, no homage to honesty would be complete without a contribution from the most honest man (recusing myself from consideration) who ever lived, “Honest Abe,” whose real name was Abraham Lincoln. Fortunately, “Honest Abe” acquired that reputation well before becoming a politician, so we can be reasonably confident that he was indeed honest, and so accustomed to truth-telling that not even politics could break him of the habit. He therefore gets the honor of leading off this compilation of quotations on honesty:

    If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?  –Abraham Lincoln

    Honesty is the best policy.  —Benjamin Franklin

    I have not observed men’s honesty to increase with their riches.  –Thomas Jefferson

    Honesty is the best policy – for poor people.  —Evan Esar

    It is better to be quotable than to be honest.  –Tom Stoppard (who managed to be both for the price of one?)

    Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.  —Mark Twain

    Pretty much all the honest truth-telling in the world is done by children.  –Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

    Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.  –Robert Brault

    Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.  –Ludwig Wittgenstein

    We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find is an honest friend.  –Robert Louis Stevenson

     

     
    • Don Frankel 5:32 am on May 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great advice here, especially your marital advice. If you leave out telling your wife it is very easy to be honest. Honesty is a relative thing as it does depend on what someone’s definition of is, is.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:43 am on May 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, your mention of Bill Clinton’s theory of relativity causes me to question my marital advice. I wonder if he would’ve saved himself untold trouble if he had told Hillary about Monica?

      Like

    • Don Frankel 5:41 pm on May 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It seems she knew all about it. But I loved his answer. Besides no one ever proved he had sex with that woman. All that dress proved was he almost had sex with her.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 5:29 pm on July 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed the Honesty post and the I Forgot Day. The latter seems right for me since I had my concussion 3 weeks ago. I am getting my memory back. Reading mistermuse’s posts and the comments is helping. Three more weeks to go and I should be all well. Hope you all have a Happy Fourth!

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:30 pm on July 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Michaeline, I’m going to reply to your comment before I forget. Have a safe and happy Fourth, and remember to keep wearing your football helmet for another 3 weeks. Better safe than sorry! 🙂

      Like

  • mistermuse 4:53 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , love of writing, , , , quotations, , writer quotes, ,   

    WRITE OF PASSAGE 

    There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
    –Ernest Hemingway 

    Before becoming an internet blogger several years ago, I had been a much-published “typewriter” poet and writer for over twenty years in various literary journals and magazines….yet I don’t recall ever being asked why I write. Perhaps the motivation is obvious. I write because I’m a writer — writing is in my blood. The reason I write is akin to the answer Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) gave Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in CASABLANCA: We might as well question why we breathe.

    This is not to say that everyone who writes is a writer who must write. Just as there are all kinds of people, there are all kinds of writers with all kinds of agendas, many of whom (from a passion standpoint) appear more agenda-driven than writing-driven….and that’s all well and good, though I’m not sure you can have it both ways and call yourself a creative writer. It seems to me that anyone who doesn’t love writing for its own sake is not on the same page as a creative writer….and it seems that I am not alone in that opinion:

    A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
    –Maya Angelou

    The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. –Mark Twain

    We live and breathe words. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world….  –Cassandra Clare

    Fantasy is hardly an excape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.
    –Lloyd Alexander

    There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.  —Oscar Wilde

    Or maybe that isn’t all. There are many more quotes from writers worth repeating, and I expect I’ll be repeating some of them sometime soon.

     
  • mistermuse 11:06 pm on March 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Bernard Berenson, , Friedrich Nietzsche, , , Jerome K. Jerome, Lillian Hellman, Mahatma Gandhi., Pontius Pilate, quotations, , , ,   

    TRUE BE OR NOT TRUE BE…. 

    That is the question: “What is truth?”, as Pontius Pilate asked. In what sense did he ask it? It seems that Pilate did not wait for Jesus to answer, so a good guess is that he asked it rhetorically….and why not? Better men than Pilate have concluded that the truth of a thing is nothing more than what each of us believes it to be — religious beliefs being the supreme example, and killing/persecuting over religious differences being the supreme irony….as if it is necessarily so that belief equals truth to demand surrender to. Like Ira Gershwin, “I takes dat gospel whenever it’s pos’ple– but wid a grain of salt!”

    Many wise things have been said concerning the concept of truth, but I believe we must look outside of religion for most of the wise men and women who have said those wise things, just as we look beyond politicians for the deeper concepts that govern us. Here are some of these “outsiders” and their sayings that ring true to me:

    Between truth and the search for truth, I choose the second. -Bernard Berenson

    Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods. -Albert Einstein

    Truth exists; only lies are invented. -Georges Braque

    There is no such source of error as the pursuit of absolute truth. – Samuel Butler

    Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. -Aldous Huxley

    Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth. -Lillian Hellman

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven’t got it. -George Bernard Shaw

    It is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. -Jerome K. Jerome

    We occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of us pick ourselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. -Winston Churchill

    All things are subject to interpretation; whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth. -Friedrich Nietzsche

    An error does not become truth by means of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. -Mahatma Gandhi

    Would you believe that this treatise was brought to you by the same libertine who brought you yesterday’s less high-minded, but perhaps more uplifting, post MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RAUNCH…. what can I say?

     
    • Don Frankel 8:44 am on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “Beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know.” If you follow this rule you won’t Fucks Funny.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:30 am on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Mel Blanc, of Bugs Bunny and “That’s all folks” fame, once needed “truth” to put one over on the Calif. Dept. of Motor Vehicles, which asked him if his license plate KMIT stood for a radio station (illegal in California). Blanc replied, “No, that’s actually an old Jewish expression, ‘know me in truth’.” What it really stood for was “kish mir im tuchis,” a Yiddish phrase meaning “Kiss my ass.”

      Like

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