This child’s sense of wonder is infectious, and also so are his scabies.
The problem with the critic is that, after drinking the blood of Christ, his inclination is merely to offer a taste profile.
Exercise is the sort of endeavor one is glad to have performed in the past — rather, that is, than to be performing at the moment. With intercouse, it’s frequently the opposite.
In the 47th epigram of his 10th book, first century Roman poet Martial supplies the 17 necessary conditions for a good life, as follow.
- Inherited wealth, as opposed to that produced by an actual job.
- Some reasonably fertile land.
- A working fireplace.
- Total avoidance of lawsuits.
- An avoidance, almost as total, of business attire.
- A calm mind.
- Physical health.
- Gentlemanly powers.
- A sort of artful candor — or perhaps “benign insouciance.”
- Likeminded friends.
- Agreeable dinner parties.
- A simple, functional table.
- Nights without anxiety, but also not totally drunken, either.
- An active, but not entirely indulgent, sexual life.
- Considerable sleep, preferably when it’s dark out.
- The desire to be oneself only and nothing more/else.
- Neither a fear of, nor a wish for, one’s own death.
Yesterday, I drank wine on a train. Today, I’m drinking it under an umbrella. Tomorrow, I’ll drink wine someplace else. I don’t know where I’ll drink; that I’ll drink, however, has been firmly established.
Baudelaire recommends always to be drunk — on wine, for instance, or poetry. I consume much of the former — and would much of the latter, as well, were there more palatable examples of it.
One can become drunk on either wine or poetry, that’s true. The difference, however, is this: few vintners take pleasure in the difficulty with which their product is consumed.
Wine is served at poetry readings with a view to rendering the event more tolerable. Notably, there is not an equal but opposite example of this.
My lack of proficiency in both French and Italian compels me to sound like a fool when I speak those languages. It’s my fluency in English, however, which compels me to sound like an even greater fool in that one.
One way to measure success, perhaps, is to calculate the number of strangers who’d likely recognize your name. Indeed, after performing such a calculation you’ll have succeeded in at least one way: in behaving like a total d-bag.
As a guest at a dinner party, I’m among the very harshest of wine critics: if there’s not enough wine, I become critical.
Good wine is better than mediocre wine: that’s obvious. Mediocre wine is much better than no wine at all, however.
At the market yesterday, I wanted to buy the five-liter bottle of wine for €5. My wife, meanwhile, insisted on the 3/4-liter bottle for €6. Her palette is superior to mine, I concede that; her grasp of arithmetic, however, much worse.
The greatest virtue is what one might call a sort of “benevolent insouciance.” Anyone utilizing reason agrees.
This virtue, however — it’s rarely celebrated by our politicians. Why? It’s obvious: to become a politician one must necessarily lack reason.