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My Only Wisdom

5 Aug

As a writer, it’s more important to read than to write. There’s always more to learn than to say.


Before Twitter: Epigrams

29 Apr

Even before I became a Twitter junkie, I jotted down some pithy observations in a small notebook as they occurred to me. Most of these bon mots have fewer than 140 characters, so, if I do say so myself, I was thinking like a Twitter user before it was even invented. Here are some of my favorite epigrams with the month and year that I wrote them tacked on the end.


The difference between witty and witless is a mere suffix. 1/02

Some men shout because they believe ignorance at full volume is wisdom. 1/02

The certitude of uncertainty is satisfying. 5/02

In a religious war, God is the first casualty. 10/03

A good boss lets others do the talking; a bad one thinks he talks for everyone. 4/01

Most problems solved by computers were started by them in the first place. 8/03

Fame is not merely fleeting, it’s fatuous, too. 11/01

Never try to explain your actions. Just hope for mercy. 1/02

Eloquent Nature need never explain itself. 1/02

A wedding band is a ‘No Trespassing’ sign for the heart. 2/02

The geography of sex takes more than a map and a compass to explore. 2/02

Religion is not the opiate of the masses. It is the rationalization for the rich. 3/04

The first thing you know about a man who says he knows what God thinks is that he is a liar. 7/04

The triumph of evil is always masked as a victory for morality. 11/04

Being a good listener demands a discreet application of inattention. 2/02

It is wise to refrain from giving advice, but equally wise to consider it when it is given. 11/03

The depths of despair can be shallow waters for some. 4/02

Patriotism is a brittle crutch for society to lean on. 9/02

Waving the red, white, and blue before our eyes can hide a lot of truth. 9/02

Patriotism poisons peace. 9/02

In a world perpetually at war, it seems peace is only declared when everyone is simply loading their weapons. 10/02

The end of the world comes for each and every one of us, just once. 11/02

The first step toward war is to deny the humanity of your neighbor. The last step is to deny the humanity in yourself. 2/03

The dull, daily routine of the living is nothing compared to the monotony of the dead. 7/03

Reading is breathing for the eyes. 11/02

Sickness eliminates all context. There is only you and your body. 12/02

A computer is a tool as a child is a blessing; neither performs as expected. 12/02

Weather ignores politics and religion. It is a dictatorship, a god. 12/02

Nothingness is akin to somethingness only with more or less of the thingness. 12/02

Never say grace with an atheist. He may clean your plate while you are mumbling. 3/01

When you kill in the name of religion, you are a hypocrite as well as a murderer. 9/01

Lies are the oxygen of politicians. 3/03

The problem for the American political Left is the moral weight of associating with those who would burden the rich with taxes. The problem for the American political Right is the moral weight of associating with those who would exterminate Jews and lynch black men. 2/02

A liberal wants to save the world. A conservative wants to save himself. 3/04

Wherever the dying live, it is a lonely place. 6/03

An alcoholic knows what he is, but hopes no one else does; a drunk doesn’t know, doesn’t care. 7/03

When friends visit, treat them like family. When family visits, treat them like friends. 4/01

The perfect home is the perfect illusion. 6/01

Old friends getting older are the candles on the cake of life. 6/01

Family gatherings are curious combinations of food and nostalgia. 11/01

Memory is an unreliable friend and an accurate enemy. 8/03

Make no mistake about it, there are many mistakes to be made. 10/03

The real value of a cold, hard fact is the many ways to interpret it. 11/03

No one owns property. People merely prevail at a place for a moment until time forecloses on the deal. 5/04

Hard news is hard to come by in hard times. 6/04

Technology interrupts the imagination more than it inspires it. 12/04

Traveling should be as bewildering as it is edifying for it to be worthwhile. 5/05

Doing nothing excels in a comfortable place. 6/05

Hope is not the opposite of despair; it is the beginning of disappointment. 8/05

When push comes to shove, it’s best to yank. 2/02