Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Fewtril #197

The stupid never make clever mistakes; such are the preserve of clever men, who complicate matters by also making stupid ones.

Fewtril #196

When one speaks of social decline or decadence, one is referring to the prevalence of people who are corrupt or decadent; and thus, it is not unlikely that the further a society declines, the fewer people there are who can speak of its decline, since those who are corrupt or decadent do not see it that way.

Fewtril #195

Nothing noble is ever done solely for the sake of its usefulness, but if nobility has a use, then it is in that bloody-mindedness that withstands even those things that one has been seduced into believing are inevitable.

Fewtril #194

Everyone claims to live by the principle that we should not harm the innocent, which is perhaps why we have so many theories that find us all guilty.

Fewtril #193

One may easily get another to admit his shortcomings provided he hasn’t already bragged of them.

Fewtril #192

The more we study great men, the more we learn of their great inconsistency in character and behaviour, and of the often inscrutability of their causes and motives. Such might be true of most or all men, but because we study only great men in depth, we are inclined to see such degrees of inconsistency and inscrutability as marks of greatness alone.

Fewtril #191

One will occasionally have inexpressibly profound feelings about something – one feels one knows the hidden truth about it, but cannot quite grasp it. This may well be the beginnings of a profound thought, but then again it may not, and one ought not to flatter oneself into believing that it is.

Fewtril #190

Often when we claim that the people of a more genteel and honourable age were not so different from us, it is noticeable that we emphasise and exaggerate their vices and shortcomings, as if to diminish and downplay our own.

Fewtril #189

It is good to remind people every now and then that geniuses are not like rabbits: they do not breed nearly so prolifically, nor can they be pulled out of hats.

Fewtril #188

We have so little respect for civilisation these days that we decry as uncivilised the discipline necessary to instil it.

Fewtril #187

It is in poor taste to say that a man is made happy once he has been disabused of the guards of his happiness — his illusions. One disabuses a man of his illusions because one wants him to see the world as it is, or as one sees it. The last thing one has in mind is his happiness.

Fewtril #186

A contrarian is easily led astray; one need only point him in the right direction.

Fewtril #185

There is music so awful that it needs an expert to appreciate it for you.

Fewtril #184

One would be most fortunate indeed if one’s opponents were always as stupid as one would like to think they are.

Fewtril #183

Is there anything so vulgar, so vapid, and so overpriced that it cannot appeal to young professionals?

Fewtril #182

Under the watch of equality one must falsify in order to be seen as fair-minded: one must exculpate the crimes of one party and exaggerate the crimes of another.