Thursday, August 25, 2011

Notes from "Letters to a Young Contrarian", Envoi

I have been lingering on this last post about the book whose name is spelled above. I admit it, there's the procrastinating component. It is even larger however, the feeling that I don't want the book to be over. I identify myself too much with its contents. I wish it had more pages but whimsy wishes vanish into nothingness when facts slap you in the face.

So, here's the last part, my favorite passages of the Envoi.

An official of the Teamsters' Union, asked by the Senate hearing if his union was really powerful, responded guardedly but elegantly by saying that being powerful was a little like being ladylike: "If you have to say you are, you prob'ly ain't."

And finally, a quote that is (for me) a crowing jewel.

So I have no peroration of clarion note on which to close. Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the "transcendent" and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.

Very well, there is it. Now we can go onto the next book :)