On the Fine Line Between Patriotism and Tom-Foolery

Mark Twain, Patriotism, and the Fourth of July

Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.
-Mark Twsin, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar

What better way to express your patriotism by drinking to much and playing with explosives?

Image credit: Brian Hefele, courtesy flickr

On Judging a Book by its Cover

Clothes make the man. Make a good first impression and people tend to listen to what you have to say

GLady / Pixabay

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society”
-Mark Twain

One should refrain, as much as possible, from judging a book merely by its cover. But it is also best when a book has a clean, well-made cover.

 

On Another New Year’s Eve

Another useless New Year's Eve

greener-dalii / Pixabay

“New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions.”
-Mark Twain

New Years Eve is one of the saddest holidays of the year; no it is the saddest. People only look happy because they’ve had too much to drink, many with the notion that it is for the last time.

On How a Little Certain Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”
-Mark Twain

The more tenaciously a thought is held, the more irrational it becomes. But it ain’t necessarily  so.

On Conspiracy Theories

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, most of them never happened.”
– Mark Twain

Beware the boogie man in the dark corner, for he just may not exist.

On Finding a True Wealth of Knowledge

“I would rather have my ignorance than another man’s knowledge, because I have got so much more of it.”
-Mark Twain

All we can be sure of is our own ignorance – knowing that we don’t know. An abundance of known ignorance is better than a paucity of knowledge.

On How to Spot a Pessimist

“Pessimist: the optimist who didn’t arrive”
-Mark Twain

Just showing up requires a level of optimism that the true pessimist is unwilling to give.

On Timing

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one”
-Mark Twain

The difference between a million dollar idea and the worthless boasts of a crank is like the difference between a great joke and a terrible one -timing.

On Blowing Smoke

“It is a talent by itself to pay compliments gracefully and have them ring true. It is an art in itself.”
– Mark Twain, speech, “The Lost Lotos Club”

You da’ man… No you da’ man… 

On the Value of Education

“Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”
-Mark Twain

The better the education, the more you know what you don’t know – unless you’re too stupid. Then you know everything.