Archive for the ‘wise ass’ Tag

01-04-2015 Journal – Wise Ass Appreciation Day   Leave a comment

I finally feel as if my entire life has been justified and validated.  I never thought it would happen but today was the day.  I stayed up late last night snuggling warmly on my favorite chair with my Kindle.  I’ve been on a reading binge of late but decided to switch from my normal detective novels to some non-fiction.  After a thorough search of the Kindle Store I was able to download a number of books and essays that caught my eye.

Just for background purposes you should know that many many times in my life I’ve been accused of being a ‘wise ass’.  For me it stopped being something derogatory when I was still in junior high school.  It became a badge of honor at that point and I set out to be the best ‘wise ass’ I could be. It’s good to have goals, don’t you know.

I’ve always enjoyed the company of other ‘wise asses’ because we understand each other.  We all seem to be quick witted and able to crack wise at a moments notice.  It’s not as easy and glamorous as it sounds.  It takes years of hard work and dedication just to get to the level where your recognized by others after just a few minutes of conversation. 

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Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain

I also enjoyed reading as a teenager and I became hooked on anything written by Mark Twain. It became obvious very quickly that while Mark Twain could spin a tale like nobody’s business his alter ego, Samuel Clemens, was the ultimate sarcastic wise ass.  The more sarcastic and glib he became the more in demand he was.  Last night I began reading his essay on "The Decay of the Art of Lying" and it took just a few paragraphs for me to realize that I needed to give more thought to lying in general and really good lying in particular. This quote stood out in just the first paragraph:

"No high-minded man, no man of right feeling, can contemplate the lumbering and slovenly lying of the present day without grieving to see a noble art so prostituted."

Another favorite ‘wise ass’ of mine was Will Rogers. Although he died in a plane crash in Alaska in 1935 much of his writings and quotations can be found everywhere. He was the leading political wit of the Progressive Era, and was a top-paid Hollywood movie star at the same time.  He was another ‘wise ass’ who made it big before his untimely death. His good-old-boy approach to ridicule and humor made him funny, well liked, with a sarcasm that was dripping with honey.  He was the sort who could take you to task for something stupid you’ve done and have you laughing at yourself as he left the room.

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It’s a real shame that both of these ‘wise asses’ weren’t able to live long enough to see how our current political figures of both parties have proudly carried the art form of lying to new heights.

I’ve always been good at spinning a yarn to avoid lying but maybe I should have just blurted out the truth.  Clemens stated rather emphatically that everyone lies.  Whether it’s a little white lie or a lie of omission, it’s still a lie. We are a nation of liars.  I honestly believe I prefer things the way they are because telling the absolute truth regardless of the consequences can get nasty and unfriendly very quickly.  It makes the age old question "Does my ass look too big in this dress?" a life threatening situation.  No thank you.  Here’s one last quote from Clemens to support my position:

"None of us could live with an habitual truth-teller, but thank goodness none of us have to. A habitual truth-teller is an impossible creature; he does not exist; he never has existed. Everybody lies-every day; every hour; asleep; in his dreams; in his joy; in his mourning; if he keeps his tongue still, his hands, his feet, his eyes, his attitude, will convey deception-and purposely."

I’m an even bigger fan of Samuel Clemens and Will Rogers that I was previously.  It’s nice to see a few sarcastic ‘wise asses’ make the big time. I just wanted to take the time to acknowledge them with this self-created Wise Ass Appreciation Day. Thankfully for all of us their works will live on forever.

Wise Asses – 2

The Rest of the World – 0

10-28-2013 More Useless Facts   4 comments

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I love the English language.  I jut wanted to put that out there to help readers understand this blog is not TWITTER.  Here at Every Useless Thing we need way more than 140 characters to make a point.  The Twitter language which has been developing for the youngest of the sound bite generations leaves me #effingcold.  If you’re a constant Twitter user then you’ve already begun to think in their terms as well as write that way.  Twitter is in too much of a hurry for me which results in a blog here that’s comfortable to read and comment on.  Relax, enjoy and don’t stress out trying to get all of your thoughts on a complex subject jammed into 140 characters. Let’s begin.

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One of the more interesting things for me in the language are palindromes. For those of you who don’t know, palindromes are words or phrases that spell the same forward and backward.  The palindromic words are cool but the phrases are mind boggling.

Two Words

Dump mud.

Party trap

Stack cats.

Short Phrases

Never odd or even.

Live not on evil.

Pa’s a sap.

Pull up, Bob, pull up.

Crazy Phrases

We panic in a pew.

Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.

Did Mom poop? Mom did.

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I’ve always been a big fan of Harry S. Truman.  A down-to-earth president who had the unique ability to cut right threw the normal political BS and get to the point.  Reporters in those days must have loved covering him.  Here’s one of my favorite Truman quotes:

“Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day”

Another of my favorites was H. L. Mencken.  I’m especially awed by anyone who can become so famous that his words and phrases are quoted endlessly by millions of people.  He was something I’ve aspired to be my whole life.  A genuine “wise ass”.  Here’s a few of his more interesting thoughts:

“Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.”

A statement more true now than ever before in our history.  Here’s another:

“A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.”

I’ve been called a cynic by some and I wear that as a badge of honor. Without we cynics everyone would be an idealist.  Mencken had a thought about them as well.

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.”

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Here’s an interesting Star Wars factoid.  The name of R2-D2 came about while George Lucas was filming American Graffiti. During a sound-mixing session, editor Walter Murch asked him for R2, D2 (Reel 2, Dialogue 2) of the film. Lucas liked the name so much  that he made a note of it, and eventually found the right character for it.

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What famous Hollywood comedian said the following": “I learned about sex watching neighborhood dogs.  The most important thing I learned was: Never let go of the girl’s leg no matter how hard she tries to shake you off.

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That’s enough of this mind numbing useless crap for today.  There’s much more to come in the future and I’m sure you’re thrilled to death knowing that. Over and out from a cynical wiseass.