My wife is disgusted by a grey sweatshirt I’ve chosen to wear. “You look like a frightening street person,” she says and leaves the room.
Disgusted by the sweatshirt, I say, although probably more accurate to say with my inclination to wear it — and with herself, finally, for having lacked the necessary rigor while choosing a spouse.
- One who, containing an excess of shit, is compelled to discharge some quantity of it by mouth.
- One who traffics in human weakness — his own, first and foremost.
- A sort of abusive magician who, having pulled a rabbit from his hat, denounces the entire rabbit species and their perverted tastes in hiding.
A recent study shows that literary fiction improves the reader’s capacity for empathy. Speaking anecdotally, I see considerable merit in these findings. Having read Joyce’s Ulysses in college, for example, I feel awful for anyone compelled to do the same.
History, whether attempting to account for the masses or merely a privileged few, remains flawed insofar as it’s a record only of exertions — precisely the sort of behavior a reasonable person makes a point of avoiding.
Preferable would be a history of idleness. Of course, by definition, it can’t exist. No one sensible enough to conceive of it would consent to enduring the tedium inherent to composing such a document.
Among life’s more predictable disappointments: to be constantly motivated by a carrot at the end of a stick and then, upon one day apprehending it successfully, to find that it’s a carrot.
DISSERTATION (n.) — An impenetrable document composed against one’s will for an audience of none.
PEDAGOGY (n.) — The method by which those lacking in natural charisma are permitted to harass the young.
SYLLABUS (n.) — A list of books and articles which one would prefer to have read than to currently be reading.
It’s best to avoid an excess of physical wellbeing — to cultivate an ache or some other sort of mild discomfort to which one can reliably turn. That way, when actual disease arrives — and it inevitably arrives — the descent into poor health won’t be so conspicuous and, as a result, demoralizing.