Monday, 11 January 2010

A hiatus

An hiatus, perhaps? I dunno. Let's say 'a caesura'; slightly less accurate but more poetic.

Any road up, you may have noticed that the 'mad scientist' alter ego has taken over more than somewhat of late. Part of the fun of blogging with no detailed plan (story of my life) is to see where it goes, and although the current plotline has been great fun, I refuse to be tied to a traditional model of narrative continuity on this blog. I get quite enough of that at work. For the time being, therefore, we leave myself dazed and confused ('for so long it's not true', and more parsnips to anyone who spots the source for that) and handcuffed to a hospital bed under the caring attentions of Nurse Desirée Gaspinforit, she of the bountifully mammalian aspect.

One of the most irritating things about New Year is the amount of advice that is wished upon one by well-meaning idiots. I don't object to practical suggestions about drinking less, exercising more and so on, but I do get a little tetchy over the amount of vague, pseudo-spiritual, lets-all-reconnect-with-ourselves drivel that washes around the blogosphere and our e-mail inboxes at this time of year. A particularly emetic example arrived yesterday and I was reminded of an occasion, almost exactly 10 years ago, when I was an habitué (a habitué? dunno) of one of the world's first online communities. Somebody posted an inferior set of 'desiderata' and some sarcastic and cynical contributor overlaid it with their own thoughts.

I grant that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, and that a cynic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. That said, I post the text herewith, and you can take from it what you will.


I'VE LEARNED that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved.....The rest is up to them.
You can make them love you. Just offer them money.

I'VE LEARNED that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back.
So don't bother caring.

I'VE LEARNED that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
Nonsense. Smack 'em around a bit. They'll learn.

I'VE LEARNED that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
Or it might mean they're slow learners. See above.

I'VE LEARNED that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to takes its place.
Pizza will do it.

I'VE LEARNED that there are people who love you dearly, but just don't know how to show it.
Comes to the same thing. Discard them.

I'VE LEARNED that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
That's the beauty of a telephone, isn't it?

I'VE LEARNED that although the word "love" can have many different meanings, it loses value when overly used.
Like most forms of credit, yeah.

I'VE LEARNED that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
You've obviously never had a really good birthday celebration.

I'VE LEARNED that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
Because you're worth it, right?

I'VE LEARNED that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
Shout louder, and it might at least slow down a little.

I'VE LEARNED that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
So next time you're sacked, assaulted or insulted, it's your fault if you get upset about that. Hmmm...

I'VE LEARNED That sometimes when my friends fight, I'm forced to choose sides even when I don't want to.
Why not just mind your own business and let 'em get on with it?

I'VE LEARNED That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
Nice going, Sherlock.

I'VE LEARNED That sometimes you have to put the individual ahead of their actions.
But mostly not. This is why we have the criminal law.

I'VE LEARNED That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
Unless they change into axe-wielding loonies. Or evangelists. Then you DO have to change them.

I'VE LEARNED That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
And make you lots and lots of money.

I'VE LEARNED That two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I noticed the exact same thing myself. Or, wait, maybe it wasn't the exact same thing...

I'VE LEARNED That no matter the consequences, those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
Name names, pal. You reckon Bill Clinton is honest with himself?

I'VE LEARNED That no matter how many friends you have, if you are their pillar you will feel lonely and lost at the times you sometimes need them the most.
Try being their obelisk, then.

I'VE LEARNED That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.
Depends on much you're enjoying being their pillar that week.

I'VE LEARNED That credentials on the wall DO NOT make you a decent human being.
Depends who signed the credentials, doesn't it?

I'VE LEARNED That it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe.
Well, you can stand up nicely. Or draw a very faint line.

I'VE LEARNED That it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
If it takes years to build up trust, fraud would hardly exist. Go check the statistics.

I'VE LEARNED That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
Why not? A little applied cruelty might save you having to get angry next time.

I'VE LEARNED That money is a lousy way of keeping score.
But it works well for the vast majority of transactions. Back in the old days we used rocks, but they wear out your pockets.

I'VE LEARNED That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I hate an uppity attitude. Smack it down hard.

I'VE LEARNED That it's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.
...and what those people have, of course.

I'VE LEARNED That you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you had better know something.
Yep, like how to offer someone money. Or pizza.

I'VE LEARNED That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
Probably because you've never properly defined your objective and spent too much time passing on empty platitudes.

I'VE LEARNED That you can keep going long after you think you can't.
But you very seldom want to, and that's quite natural.

I'VE LEARNED That learning to forgive takes practice.
So does flipping someone the finger. But it's worth working at...


  1. "some sarcastic and cynical contributor" - I wonder who that could have been? A sarcastic and cynical observer, perhaps...

    Love, Mrs QO

  2. You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

  3. If only it hadn't been parsnips...

  4. We could do you the equivalent in mustelids, if that helps.