A – the devil’s dictionary

Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary is the rock bottom of cynicism and irony.  And this is just the A’s!  It purports to describe hell but we recognize it right away as our lives here and now among the quick.  Our most sacred qualities are unceremoniously toppled and made rag tag and treacherous.  Every motivation is duplicitous, each shining character quality fully avaricious. Nothing is as it seems; there is a dark, blanketing shadow of motivation behind every relationship and action.  Corruption has achieved its apotheosis.  You get the picture.

Some of the A’s from the dictionary:

ABILITY, n. The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones. In the last analysis ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity. Perhaps, however, this impressive quality is rightly appraised; it is no easy task to be solemn. Continue reading


alternate futures
April 8, 2011, 12:33 am
Filed under: brave new world, the sweet life | Tags: , , , ,

David Brooks describes two worlds in his article about life fulfillment called the Social Animal.  One is an empty yet realized life, and the other full and usually elusive.

The empty life is founded on advice and coaching and what society says a good life should be.  Needless to say this world of stern advice and empty results is staggeringly ironic.  Base your life on career skills, get degreed at the right school, concentrate on the minutiae of technique and performance, leverage intelligence, and you will succeed says society.

But you won’t find achievement or fulfillment, says Brooks.  None of the advisors and coaches nor social maxims are there when you need answers to life’s most important questions:  love, friendship, loyalty, belief, disavowal.  For these intimate and essential decisions you’re on your own.

Continue reading