SENIOR MUSE SOUNDS OFF FOR OLD TIMERS SAKE

In 1984, members of the Oxford Library Club for Retired Professional People were especially looking forward to hearing a guest speaker on “Old Age, Absent-Mindedness, and Keeping Fit.” Unfortunately, the speaker forgot to show up. –excerpted from the book 1,000 UNFORGETTABLE SENIOR MOMENTS

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MAY being OLDER AMERICANS MONTH, and ME being an older American, I’ve decided to post a post predicated on passing on — make that on passing along — hoary words of wisdom concerning a subject I’m surpassingly qualified to write about, namely …. ….hmmm….uh….ah…. longevity (ha ha — you thought I forgot what I was going to write about, didn’t you?).

Actually, I must admit to being a bit of a senior citizen-slouch when it comes to longevity — at least, compared to this guy:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/worlds-oldest-man-146-birthday-long-life-location-country-name-celebrates-old-age-a7505401.html

And of course, that there this guy is himself a slouch compared to this here this guy:

Methuselah, as all my bible-believing brethr’n and sistern know, was said to have lived 969 years (Genesis 5:27), so you might think this song is my inspiration to keep marching on:

But (and I quote) “Who calls that livin’ when no gal’s gonna give in to no man what’s 900 years?”

So there you have it from Bobby Darin singing the lyrics of Ira Gershwin. Or you can take it from Senior Muse quoting the words of Oscar Wilde: “The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is not young.”

 

 

 

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TRUMP COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER

As we know, our beloved, above-the-law President, Donald “Stonewall Maximum” Trump, is not one to account for his violations of civility, humanity or legality, but in case he ever feels a need to make excuses for his base….instincts, he can grab on to one of the following old floozies — I mean DOOZIES — for justification. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, he may even want to lay claim to them all — no matter the doozies became noted quotes ere Trump ere heard of them or the quotees (well, maybe he heard of the first one.)

“I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.” –DAVID DINKINS, former NYC Mayor

“I care not who makes the laws of a nation if I can get out an injunction.” –FINLEY PETER DUNNE, humorist

“Suppression is 9/10ths of the law.” –EVAN ESAR (a pun on the expression “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.”

“I simply misremembered it wrong.” –MARK KIRK, former Republican Senator from Illinois

“My friends, no matter how rough the road may be, we can and we will, never, surrender to what is right.” –DAN QUAYLE, VP of the United States under George H.W. Bush

“There are people in our society who should be separated and discarded.” –SPIRO AGNEW, V.P. of the U.S. under Richard Nixon

“I AM the Federal Government.” –TOM DELAY, former GOP Majority leader, after telling a business owner to put out his cigar due to a federal law against smoking in the building

Now that’s a quote we can lay on THE DONALD without DELAY.

 

 

 

WELL(ES) SAID

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four….unless there are three other people.” –Orson Welles (in his obese later years)

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Today being the birthday (5/6/1915) of the great director/actor Orson Welles, I’m going to risk repeating myself by repeating myself….with a few selections (including the following clip) from a past post acclaiming Welles and his role in the classic film THE THIRD MAN:

To those who think the likes of this 1949 film has appeal only for seniors (like me), I’d say such films are called classic because they’re ageless, not made to capitalize on what’s ‘in’ at the moment. To demonstrate, here is a non-senior citizen explaining why she loves it:

Of Welles, the man grown from “boy genius,” much has been written, but I won’t go into the details of his life/legend here — they can be readily culled by clicking this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles (or less readily culled from recommended books like ORSON WELLES, a 562 page biography by Barbara Leaming). Instead, I will call on some of the wisdom he left behind….and I quote:

Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, a confirmation of the human spirit.

Living in the lap of luxury isn’t bad except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up.

I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.

Race hate isn’t human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

Don’t give them what they think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society.

Well(es) said, I’d say.

 

 

 

NO BRAINER DAY

I think, therefore I am. –René Descartes 
I overthink, therefore I post.
–mistermuse

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Lately, I’ve been burning too much mental energy cooking up posts to roast Trump (e.g., I almost said toast rump); the heat is turning my face red and giving me the thinking blues:

Frankly, friends, I think I need to cool it before the strain becomes a drain on my brain and gives me a pain. Fortunately, Feb. 27 is NO BRAINER DAY — a perfect day to post a post which requires little or no thinking. But before you Trump reprobates snidely ask how that would make this post any different from my previous posts, answer me this: how much thought do you think The Donald gives his tweets? Even a smart-ask Trumpite should allow that mistermuse be entitled to one day of devoting the same paucity of gray matter to his post that your Orange Oligarch devotes to his tweets every day.

With that in mind, I’m giving the rest of this tome over to posting what others thought when they thought about thinking/not thinking. Do I think their thinking will make you think you’re thinking what I’m thinking about thinking/not thinking? Just a thought.

So, let’s get quoting before I change my mind and start thinking again:

I think that I think; therefore, I think I am. –Ambrose Bierce

[I think that I think, therefore] I yam what I yam. –Popeye the Sailor Man

There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking. –Thomas Edison

Ours is an age which is proud of machines that think, and suspicious of men who try to. –Howard Mumford Jones

The best way [for a woman] to win a man is to make him think you think as much of him as he does. –Evan Esar

In America, we say what we think, and even if we can’t think, we say it anyhow. –Charles F. Kettering

In closing, did you know Rodin’s THE THINKER was originally called THE POET:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thinker

I happen to know that THE POET didn’t appreciate the name change, thus this reaction:

Mused The Poet to a passing skunk,
“What good is being called The Thinker?
To some day convey the aura of a President,
It should Don the wrap, like you, of The Stinker.”

 

 

SOMEONE CALL A DOCTOR – OUR PRESIDENT IS SICK

empathy, n. Identification with and understanding of another’s feelings, situation, and motives. –Webster’s New College Dictionary

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Unless you’ve been separated from the news since 2017, you’ve no doubt heard of our U.S. President’s “zero tolerance” (zero humanity?) immigration policy, whereby children (including infants and toddlers) are taken from their asylum-seeking mother and/or father at the southern border, resulting in what the New York Times reported as “thousands of migrant parents spending months in agonized uncertainty, unable to communicate with their children and in many cases not even knowing where their children are.”

Let’s call this unconscionable practice what it is:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-met-family-separation-border-children-trump-huppke-20190211-story.html

In June 2018, a federal judge in San Diego directed the federal government to halt the separations and reunite children with their parents, but federal inspectors found that separations continued to occur. Furthermore, according to the N.Y. Times, the total number of separated children is unknown “because of the lack of a coordinated formal tracking system between the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the arm of Health and Human Services that takes in the children, and the Dept. of Homeland Security, which separated them from their parents.”

What is wrong with this morally sick President that renders him incapable of empathy, that blinds him to the needs of others, particularly the ‘least’ of us?

“All children old enough to recognize that they exist as separate (albeit weak and dependent) beings have a strong need to believe that their parents are ultimately good and kind. Parents appear to the child to be omnipotent figures who have everything: food, warmth, love, mobility and so forth. The child desperately needs to feel that these God-like parents are devoted to his or her particular needs and well-being: the consequences of the reverse, for the weak and utterly dependent child, are simply too terrible to contemplate.” — Scott Mann, author, HEART OF A HEARTLESS WORLD

Someone call a doctor — preferably a heart specialist — for our President.

 

SHORT AND (NOT SO) SWEET

Lately I’ve been (and remain) a bit under the weather, so rather than strain my brain trying to write something original, this post will quote from three book reviews which have something pertinent to say about the likes of our favorite President, either directly or by extension (book titles in caps):

KILL IT TO SAVE IT by Corey Dolgon

“Dolgon’s astute look at the conservative turn in US politics … offers a fascinating look at the phenomenon that made Donald J. Trump the preferred choice of many voters. The long-term fallout of this turn has many of us thinking far less critically than we should be–exactly as intended–and how and why we’ve learned to tolerate the intolerable.” –Eleanor J. Bader (reviewer)

UNDER THE COVER OF CHAOS by Lawrence Grossberg

“In damning detail, Grossberg here lays bare the deep roots of Trumpism. Rather than a break from some imagined pure, nuanced conservatism, Grossberg shows Trump’s manic nonsense is actually a continuation, the result of a long struggle between the new right and the reactionary right. Everyone should read this book if they want to understand the rise of authoritarianism in the United States.” –Henry Giroux (reviewer)

THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE by Milton Mayer

An account of the rise of fascism in Germany from 1933-45. As such, “A timely reminder of how otherwise unremarkable and in many ways reasonable people can be seduced by demagogues and populists.” –Richard J. Evans (reviewer)

Upon further review, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

A QUOTER OF NINE

One must never miss an opportunity of quoting things by others which are always more interesting than those one thinks up oneself. –Marcel Proust

The idea for this post was born of the mating of the above quote (which came from a book I’m reading about Marcel Proust) with a play on words from the title of this old song:

The next step was to come up with nine quotes based on the above premise. Almost by default, I chose quotes about quotes. I hope the result isn’t born stillborn — if so, de fault is yours (or mine, if you want to be petty about it). Let’s begin and see how it works out:

Those who never quote, in return are never quoted. –Isaac D’Israeli

Pretty things that are well said — it’s nice to have them in your head. –Robert Frost

I have made it a rule that whenever I say something stupid, I immediately attribute it to Dr. Johnson, Marcus Aurelius or Dorothy Parker. –George Mikes

Asked to describe his most recent play, a playwright (who Dorothy Parker felt had been copying her) said, “It’s hard to say — except that it’s a play against all isms.” She replied, “Except plagiarism.

I always have a quotation for everything — it saves original thinking. –Dorothy L. Sayers

To be amused at what you read — that is the great spring of quotation. –Charles Edward Montague

While reading writers of great formulatory power — Henry James, Santayana, Proust — I find I can scarcely get through a page without having to stop to record some lapidary sentence. Reading Henry James, for example, I have muttered to myself, “C’mon, Henry, turn down the brilliance a notch, so I can get some reading done.” –Joseph Epstein

If you want to be quoted, say something you shouldn’t say. –Evan Esar

I really didn’t say everything I said. –Yogi Berra

So that makes me a quoter of nine, unless one counts the opening Marcel Proust quote, which doesn’t count as ten unless you’re keeping count, in which case, count it instead as a bonus which would only count if you don’t count Yogi, who said he didn’t say what he said if he didn’t say it (but don’t quote me on that).