Friday, February 24, 2006

LAWS (To Be Taken Seriously By Only Those With A Sense Of Humor)

Read these. LIVE these: They are here for your enjoyment. But also reflect on the meaning of each one. They may give you insight on your makeup, but more importantly on MY makeup.

These are 10 “LAWS” for living that I have come up with in my short time here on Earth. The reason that they are LAWS and not rules is self-evident; we all know that rules are made simply to be broken, while we hope that LAWS are upheld and esteemed by those in our society. Also, broken rules rarely have serious repercussions, while LAWS can have grave consequences for those that ignore them. They are, as they are now, incomplete. I’m sure that there are MANY other GREAT ideas for living, but so far these are the 10 that I am quantifying as LAWS. I’m sure that in the next 10 seconds, I’ll come up with some others.

I was torn on how to present these. And through a long process of thought (riiiiiggghhhttt) here is what I’ve decided: I will give you the Main Treatise, and then explain a bit, but hopefully not too much. When I can, I will try to give examples, as I have always found this to be the best way to learn anything. These LAWS are not meant to be over-analyzed, but a mild analysis of each one will hopefully show the IQ’ed out there an underlying meaning more important than the words written. They are interpretive. You should really think about them in your own circumstance. While the denotation of each may be clear-cut, look for the nuances in the connotation of each to help guide your life.

Unlike everyone else in the world who will try to tell you that to find happiness, “YOU MUST FOLLOW MY DIRECTIVES! THESE WORDS THAT I HAVE WRITTEN ARE THE ONLY WORDS THAT MATTER! EVERYONE ELSE IS FULL OF SHIT!” I’m a bit different. While I know that everyone is full of shit, and I’m pretty sure that I know more about what’s better for you than you do, I prefer to think of guidance like this: Here is some good information; I’ve used it with success; I hope it helps you. If it’s not for you, fine. Continue to proceed in the reckless fashion that you have, and don’t blame me. If you follow MY LAWS, and you still screw it up, again, don’t blame me. It is still your life, and YOU screwed it up. While it’s not in the list, the phrase, “Do what thou wilt,” comes to mind. It’s your life to mess up as you see fit. But in general, if you try to conduct your daily life by these LAWS, you’ll not only improve yourself, but it WILL have a direct affect on everything else in your world.

Those that know me have heard me recite many forms of the following for decades. They are important only on how they make you think. They will offend. They will enlighten. They will stir your passions. They are NOT open for debate. Trust me; there is something here for everyone.

And as I will write for the “Sub-Mental” (I know that I will type this same phase over and over, and most still will not be able to comprehend), I don’t care if I hurt your poor feelings! I don’t care if you agree or disagree with what I’ve written! As with all things seen on “The Brass Tacks”, your input is neither appreciated nor expected. Anything you read here is solely mine. There fore I’m right and you are wrong simply by the fact that you are reading these words.

1) Go big or stay home!!

This is something that I heard repeatedly in college from a man with whom I wasted many nights playing cards. He used it in reference to bidding out your cards in particular situations. But after thinking about it for a few years, and hearing/reading different variants applied to many other aspects of living, I came to the conclusion that THIS above all else is “THE LAW”. Encapsulation: If you are going to do something, do it all out, within reason, and do not do anything “half-assed”. If you are not doing something to the best of your ability, then don’t bother doing it! (E.g., you ‘re a dad? Be the best father to your kids that you can possibly be! You’re an Analyst? Be the best fucking Analyst that you can be! Get it yet?) This applies to most everything that everyone does. BUT use this in conjunction with the other laws.

2) You and only you are responsible for your actions!

As simple as this seems, you HAVE violated this law on many occasions! If at ANY time you have tried to deflect ANY blame/culpability/responsibility for ANYTHING that you have had even the slightest involvement in (mostly in reference to NEGATIVE situations), you have violated this law! A simple rule of thumb: If you’re not staring at serious jail time, accept the blame sometime when you are only tangentially involved in something. (E.g., you rear ended the car in front of you not because the sun was in your eyes, or your wife called, or because the guy stopped short. You hit him because YOU were following too close, AND you weren’t paying enough attention to your driving. You didn’t finish the report on time not because you’ve been too busy at home, or because you don’t have the right tools to do your job. But it’s because you procrastinated and spent time surfing for the Paris Hilton porn) Most of the time it’s much easier to proceed when you shoulder the responsibility of a problem then when you try to wash your hands of the situation.


“Wow! Did I just read that?” Yes Virginia, you did. I think of all the LAWS, this one is the only one that ALWAYS applies in EVERY situation. PERIOD!!! I’ll repeat that: “This LAW ALWAYS applies in EVERY situation!” The repetitiveness is for stressing how important this law truly is. Really. Don’t be shitty to anyone in any situation, EVER! While I know that this LAW is important, I know that with the sheer volumes of “mentally-deficient humanity” (herein referred to as MDH) that most of us come in contact with, it is almost impossible not to break. I have the hardest time trying to uphold this law in my own life. BUT THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE!!! Strive every day to observe this law.

4) Never fuck a stripper!

“WHAT?! Huh?” Of all of the LAWS, this is MEANT to be the most cryptic, esoteric and parablic (made up the word myself, thank you). Other than being generally a REALLY GREAT idea for men (and possibly women), there is a more veiled meaning here. Do you see it? Well lift the veil, dumbass! This hearkens to the “Look before you leap” ideology as well as encompassing the "sensitive dependence on initial conditions" model. Still unclear? Good! That means you may actually spend some time mulling this one over.

5) Humility: Or how I love the sweet taste of Humble Pie!

I remember a speech given to me by a guy I was going to lose a fight for. He told me, “Night of the fight, you might feel a slight sting. That's pride fuckin' with you. Fuck pride! Pride only hurts, it never helps. You fight through that shit. 'Cause a year from now, when you kicking it in the Caribbean, you gonna say to yourself, ‘Marcellus Wallace was right.’” Wait, that wasn’t me, that was from a movie, sorry. But seriously, when in doubt on a particular matter, try taking the humility route. Being proud of what you’ve accomplished is fine, being an unbearable prick about something you may or may not have done all by yourself a decade or more ago is the sign of poor character. The corollary of this is that ZEALOUSNESS in ANYTHING is a negative. Zealots are by definition faithful ignorant of fact, and therefore NOT humble. It stands to reason then that the Humble are not Zealots.

6) Don’t believe anything you read or hear about, and only believe half of what you see!

My father imparted this knowledge on me when I was young. My father is the smartest most non-complex person I have EVER met. Therefore most of what he has to say is important. This is more a measuring stick than a hard and fast LAW. Scrutinize everything with objectivity and without cynicism.

7) The truth is much easier to remember than a lie!

Really. Tell the truth as much as possible. Do I need to expound? If so just stop reading and go away.

8) You are your brother’s keeper!

This doesn’t mean you are responsible for everyone else’s well-being. It simply means that you are to take in to consideration the situation of those around you and try to be there as support for those that you care about. And for those Zealots that will point to this as my tie-in to their own personal religious vindication, please see #5 above.

9) Why do you think patience is a virtue? AND, The Art of Closing your Mouth!

I’ve put these two ideas together into one LAW for two reasons. One: this is LAW #9 and I wanted to get them both in before getting to LAW #10; and Two: they are interdependent. There is a considerable amount of reference material regarding keeping your mouth shut, so I don’t feel the need to delve into it here and take the adventure of learning away from you (look for quotes from Mark Twain, Nietzsche, et al). As for patience, all I will say is that for most circumstances, patience tends to lead to greater understanding, and therefore a better ability to handle a problem. One of my favorite quotes on patience is from an Old Dutch proverb, “A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.”

10) You know nothing!

If you count the finite knowledge you have against the infinite knowledge that there is and can possibly be, the sum total of your knowledge is nothing (x/∞ = 0). If you don’t believe this, then why are you reading these words now?

Now, if you still have a problem with me and my brilliant insight into your realm, it is because you are too afraid to face the truth. You’re probably someone that doesn’t take advice about anything well (i.e. When warned of a safe speeding down toward you from the sky, you want to correct the person warning you as to how they present the information, not even thinking of the impending doom that will wrest life from you in seconds. Actually though, this is a very good thing, as people like this perish so that I may have more stuff. For this, I thank you) and you should really surf over to the PETA or NRA homepages now, and really stop reading these words.

My tongue is not only in my cheek, it’s in yours as well.


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