DOGMA DAY AFTERNOON

Here it is, the afternoon of August five, and my spirits have taken a dive. In my last post, I let it be known that frequent publication was becoming an over-extended labor of love, and I’d need to pare down my postings to one every five days, starting today.

Little did I realize at the time that August 5 is WORK LIKE A DOG DAY. So much for taking it easy just as I try to ease into a more liberating schedule. The bright spot, however, is that August 5 looks to be a temporary glitch, offset, as fate would have it, by August 10 (LAZY DAY) and August 15 (RELAXATION DAY)….or,  MAKE-UP FOR AUGUST 5 DAY and PHONE-IT-IN DAY, as I call it. That’s a pun, in case you weren’t paying attention.

Meanwhile, if I must work like a dog today, the post that suggests itself is about dogs. Problem is, I haven’t had a dog since I was a boy, and frankly, I don’t have much interest in writing about some other man’s best friend, or even dogs in general. So, if it’s OK with you (and even if it isn’t), I’m going to write instead about a pet peeve of mine which, in its own way, is even more of a dog: dogma.

My dog-eared dictionary defines dogma doubly as a declamation of doctrines deemed true by a religious sect, and/or as an assertion of beliefs or unproven principles proclaimed to be absolute truth. Well, I suppose every dogma must have its day, but unfortunately, no dogma is satisfied with so limited a lifespan. Come to think of it, neither is this post — it needs to live five days, or I’m barking up the wrong tree with my new schedule. It therefore behooves me to call upon some dead wags and wits whose quotes on the subject survive them, and will hopefully survive being posted here:

Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma. –George Carlin

On the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and all others, , and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Were I to enter on that arena, I should only add to the number of Bedlamites. –Thomas Jefferson

Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. –G.K. Chesterton

Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book and creed and dogma, the world cannot be free. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute and despise each other. –Robert Ingersoll

So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then, because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe. –Issac Asimov

Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. –Jacob Bronowski

Believe those who are seeking truth. Doubt those who find it. –Andre Gide

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Enough. That does it until August 10 (LAZY DAY), when, I dare say, the effort that goes into my post will be considerably less dogged. If five days away seems far off, remember this:

Time’s fun when you’re having flies. –Kermit the Frog

 

 

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I AM IN CONTROL HERE

March 30 is I AM IN CONTROL DAY. According to holidayinsights.com, the genesis of the day goes back to March 30, 1981, when chaos reigned after President Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt in Washington D.C., and Vice President Bush was out of town. Secretary of State Alexander Haig (in an attempt to calm the nation) famously and injudiciously announced, “As of now, I am in control here” — in a manner which suggested a putsch.

Well, when putsch comes to shove and a situation seems to be spinning out of control, obviously someone needs to get a handle and do something, otherwise you’re just going around in circles:

So, when it comes to control, we may benefit from what these wise guys and gal have to say:

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs — maybe you just don’t understand the situation. -Evan Esar

If I was meant to be controlled, I would’ve come with a remote. -Unknown

Taste cannot be controlled by law. -Thomas Jefferson

If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you. -Dick Gregory

The difference between want and need is self control. -Unknown

Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset. -Unknown

Man does not control his own fate. The women in his life do that for him. –Groucho Marx

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it. -Mae West

1 + 1 = 3 (if you don’t use a condom). -Unknown

What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do. -Aristotle

Sorry to say, I must close for now. Please control yourself.

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