in American Culture/

Ladies and Children Not Admitted

There is no accounting for Mark Twain’s enormous talent–other than he was a true and “stable genius.” 

I continue to be flummoxed, saddened and horrified by what is happening in America, so much so it leaves me alternating uncontrollably between obsessive reading of news accounts to see what has happened on any given day, and, well, tuning out the hideous noise. Oddly, Trump would be quite gratified to hear I follow him–the ultimate ego-gratification he craves. Drowning out the noise he makes is another matter for I have to take breaks from looking at the crash on the side of the road.

And Yet

If I am not to live in a monastery or cloistered nunnery I feel a responsibility to keep up with what is or is not happening on the political, governmental and cultural front in America today.

The other aspect of my daily uncontrollable lurching back and forth between these two states includes A) sorrow that it just may be our democracy is in a death knell, or B) hope that maybe we can survive and be the better for it. I suppose there’s a third alternative but until I can identify it, humor, ultimately must be my saving grace–that and prayer!!

So,  I’m sharing survival quotes from one of my favorite American writers and humorists, Mark Twain. Without his pithy wisdom, I’d surely curl up in a ball until this current disaster is resolved one way or the other!

As for prayer, it is a simple one: PLEASE SEND HELP!

 

Some of Twain’s Finest

“There is no distinctly American criminal class — except Congress.”

“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”

“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.”

“Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.”

“But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner who needs it most?”

“The more you explain it, the more I don’t understand it.”

“Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned.”

“The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.”

“The Public is merely a multiplied “me.”

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

“If you tell the truth then you don’t have to remember anything.”

“A man’s character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.”

“Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.”

“All generalizations are false including this one.”

Sigh

There’s dozens more gems that Twain wrote but I’ll leave it to you to mine them from his enormous body of work.

I almost forgot! The title of this little missive? You guessed it: from the master himself. Did he know the American psyche and soul or what?!

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