Bad maxims, revisited

I won’t have time to write anything new today, but here’s a recycled post. It originally appeared in Via Negativa on September 6, 2004. PARENTAL ADVISORY: Contains caustic cynicism and naughty words. Seal all entrances with duct tape and plastic before proceeding.

1. You create your own reality. Re-write history to eliminate your rivals and give yourself all the starring roles.

2. If not you, someone else then. If not now, whenever. It’ll get done. If it doesn’t, well, it probably didn’t matter all that much in the first place.

3. Live in the past. That way, you’ll never have to worry about being surprised.

4. If at first you don’t succeed, hit the government up for more subsidies.

5. It’s not who wins or loses, it’s whether we all get to taunt the losers.

6. Power corrupts. But if nothing ever corrupted, we’d be up to our ears in shit and corpses.

7. Cleanliness is next to chemical allergies, birth defects and senility.

8. Eat the poor. They’re 90% fat-free!

9. It is better never to have loved at all than to have loved and lost your dignity. So suck it up, you big baby. Repression works.

10. Real men don’t ask for help. If things get bad, you can always talk to Jesus.

11. If you meet the Buddha, tell him to give me a call. He still owes me $25 bucks.

12. It’s not the goal, it’s the journey. Especially when you’re lost.

13. You can sleep when you’re dead. Be sure your grieving loved ones spend at least $3000 for a really comfortable casket.

14. A friend in need is fine, but probably isn’t the best person to go out drinking with.

15. If you put all your eggs in one basket, you can save lots of money on heat lamps.

16. A stitch in time is bad for the economy. Throw it out, already!

17. I’m O.K., you’re O.K. It’s those other people who are fucking things up.

18. First thing we do, let’s kill all the murderers.

19. Misery loves company. Specifically, the Frito-Lay Company, makers of Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos, Ruffles and Lay’s brand snack chips. Frito-LayTM. Food for the fun of it!TM

20. Before doing X, always ask yourself, “What would happen if everyone did X?” If the answer is, “Cataclysmic war and social chaos, leading to the rapid extinction of most higher life forms,” then it’s probably a pretty good way to turn a profit.

21. Some people see things as they are and ask, “Why?” Some people dream of things that never were and ask, “Why not?” If you know either of these kinds of people, please call the Department of Homeland Security’s toll-free hotline.

22. When the going gets tough, remind yourself that countless generations before you have faced these very same problems. And now they’re all dead.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

8 Comments


  1. I look forward to when archives are a thing of the past.

    You know what I mean.

    Reply

  2. I find many of these to be “good” maxims.

    They upturn conventional wisdom in a helpful way.

    Some, though, are just bad to the bone.

    Reply

  3. I sense the spirit of William Blake just behind your left shoulder there… don’t look! Well, sure, he’s gone now. What did you expect?

    These made me laugh aloud, especially the one about calling
    Homeland Security.

    Reply

  4. Peter – Actually, I’m not sure I do. I know we’ve brainstormed a bit about ways to keep older stuff from being completely neglected, but I can’t remember whether we came up with any good solutions.

    St. Antonym – Thanks. Sometimes i read the Book of Proverbs, or other collections of proverbial stuff, and it just sets my teeth on age. That “wisdom of crowds” stuff only works to a point.

    Dale – Glad you got some yuks.

    Reply

  5. There I go with my vagueness again. Your post reminded me of how I wish archives were a thing of the past, and as I was typing it here it struck me that an archive is by definition a thing of the past. Hence my overly coy last line.

    I did enjoy our brainstorming.

    Reply

  6. Everything old is new again…

    Happy Easter,…Say Hi to everyone for me…

    Love and Light,

    Crystal Dave (The Wizard of Wyrd)

    Reply

  7. #20 scared me the most. It’s just too accurate.

    #21 made me laugh the most, though it may not be that far away.

    Also loved your miserable Doritos, and your sleeping dead people in their
    oh so comfortable coffins.

    Reply

  8. Dave – Thanks, same to you.

    Patry – Thanks for the feedback. I guess you weren’t around the first time these appeared.

    Reply

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