An “aphorism,” according to my computer’s dictionary, is a “pithy observation that contains a general truth.”
My computer’s dictionary is fucking wrong. An aphorism is a jumble of words designed to make you feel better about the stupid things you believe. Often, you’ll affix a famous person to the end of your dumb word jumble to give it more authority. Here’s my least favorite aphorism.
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Whoever first said this was teased as a kid, was mentally incapable of coming up with a retort, so instead went down the route of moral reproval. This person was an ignoramus and, quite likely, an ideal candidate for the clergy. Some of the best things you can say are not nice things. Here are some not nice things you can and totally should call someone, if you get the chance:
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately where more and more people are cobbling together life philosophies from quotes, song lyrics, and useless aphorisms that they heard on cable news. I think I could probably blame Facebook, but I won’t, because I spend a lot of time on Facebook and I don’t feel like being a hypocrite today.
Anyway, for the sake of putting off doing my final essay for my human rights class, I’m going to do some aphoristic debunkification. Please pay attention.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.”
James Dean was the 1950’s token angsty teenage hearththrob. Imagine Edward Cullen, if the sparkly vampire thought he was a poet. He’s often mentioned in the same breath as Ginsberg and Kerouac as a symbol of the times, but this is only because he died in a fiery car wreck. While I’d like to wish this on Edward Cullen, it would mean his legacy would last about a century longer. Him staying alive means he’ll be about as memorable Nick Carter is now.
“Who?” you ask?
Anyway, aside from James Dean being kinda shitty period, this is a dumb quote. If you dream like you’ll live forever, you’re not going to have BIG dreams, like he’s implying, you’re going to have MASSIVE dreams that you’re going to put off because you’ll be busy drinking heavily and snorting coke out of hooker’s buttcracks, because why wouldn’t you, if you’re going to die today?
Also, living like you’ll die today means you’re more likely to die today. Say, in a fiery car wreck.
“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
If you have this in your profile “quotes” section, thank you. It is a canary in the coal mine. This immediately tells me, “This girl is awful, virtually illiterate, and devoid of any original thought. Avoid her.” I say “girl,” because I have yet to see a guy use it, but I would pretty much discard the guy as well. We all have a bit of crazy in us, I get that. But this quote is like saying, “BURN YOURSELF TO PROVE YOU LOVE ME!”
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
This is actually a brilliant quote, but HIS FUCKING NAME IS SPELLED GANDHI. Christ, you suck.
“You can’t fall off a mountain!”
I’ve never actually seen this in a profile, I just remember reading it in The Dharma Bums, and thinking, yes, you abso-effing-lutely can.
“Travelling makes a man wiser, but less happy.”
Thomas Jefferson never went to a Greek hostel over spring break. And please, don’t make the distinction between “traveller” and “tourist.” This is what pretentious people tell themselves when they go on a poverty tour after a night of drinking fishbowls in the posh part of town. This is a better replacement quote:
“Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.”
Worst quote ever:
“Love is never having to say you’re sorry.”
Hmm? What? No. That’s sociopathy. Now, moving on to more mainstream, not quote-y aphorisms:
“Ask and you shall receive.”
Hey, could I have a job?
Seize the carp!
“You can’t unscramble an egg.”
But you can turn it into poop.
“You can’t take it with you.”
Yeah, but you’re not going anywhere. You’re dead.
“There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
Tell that to the shrinking penguin population. Also, a lot of those fish have shitty attitudes.
“A leopard can’t change its spots.”
No, but its hairdresser can.
“Never say die.”
“Keep your nose to the grindstone.”
But only if you don’t like your nose.
“When it rains, it pours.”
Come to London and live in drizzle, idiot.
“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
Idle hands are the best thing ever. They can make sandwiches, have sexy time, or learn to play mariachi guitar.
“Grin and bear it.”
Frown and bitch about it. Nobody likes happiness.
I have to pee now, and that is about as good a reason for finishing this blog as I had for starting it. Stop thinking in quotes, it makes you dumb and boring.