Monday, December 19, 2011

On our season's turn to a customary stock split

Adhering to seasonal custom, wits will be aphorising this week upon those gentler ironies which characteristically befall a mind acquainted with the existence of multiple possibilities. Not that this intellec-tual privilege is so much to be envied, it's more companionable than the right-and-wrong conceits of the two of every-thing school of thought.

A stirrup cup, first?

Now, this is a Monday posting, 
and we shouldn't wish anyone to 
have to proceed too deeply into 
our diurnal deliberation without 
a reasonable whiff of what is 
intended. Any amount of Monday 
without an infusion of Lachowski 
is not to be risked without ur-
gent justification, and for a
digression on the Christmas
cracker, no one could reason-
ably claim the slightest em-
ergency. On the contrary, the
cracker is the essence of an
amusement cherished for its
blitheness, a mode we much
commend in worshipful times.
Toil is so little our way,
we happily decline a vacation.

So, to recall the track record of paired alternatives in human history makes us, however, leery of so much as acknowledging their prevalence in anatomy, whence this quaint dualist sensibility must first have been engendered; but insofar as aphorism, like twins, represents a diploid cell purporting to declare a dividend, we greet these "cracker" packings as manifestations of fecundity, to say nothing of a gainful investment in humane studies. Now, however, when you google nothing succeeds like excess, you find commentaries on Mr Perry and Beyonce, just as almost any sconce implies a mate, somewhere.

I hope it is sufficiently apparent, that what we appreciate in the aphoristic gesture is its offer of a frame conducive to a kind of delight; yet even there, schadenfreude asserts itself as a disagreable possibility. It truly strikes us as a pity, whenever play with a delicious mechanism of our nature is inhibited by that track record from which it is difficult to free the mind. Is it known, therefore, the extent to which aphorism owes its merry renown to the passing of Port, at a certain hour? If this is true, there is only the gout to con-sider as our constraint; but what finer sign of privilege can there be? Yet this does then concede the ghastlier debility, of aphor-ism's concommitant reliance on the passing of youth.

At what price then, have our wits come to us with this game of thinking, that we should resist its charm? Only the highest; but as they have borne the expense entirely, themselves, the generosity of aphorism is self-evident and not the least of its claims, to be celebrated in such weeks as this. All but unfail-ingly, aphorism even rues its condition for us, almost as an arrival of a species of punish-ment, as Louise reminded Thelma of their pursuit by the police - Well what's the rush, Thelma? If we wait long enough, they'll come to us. 

In the meantime, we can only concur. We counsel no rush toward the clarity of aphorism. As distin-guished from puns, aphorisms have none of that crushing ostentation of the knowledge that must not only speak its name, but hound us about the room until we get it. It has its bittersweet consolations, at best, and only dilatory drawbacks at worst; but these appreciations really cannot be forced. When it is time for the gauze that clouds one's eyes to find its way to one's toes, douroble Portugal will still be there, to fortify that sport. Its origin is still its best use, as the towel-snap of levity, persisting.


Roy Porter
  and G.S. Rousseau
Gout: The Patrician Malady
Yale University Press, 1998©

Callie Khouri, screenplay
Thelma and Louise
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1991©

ii  F. Lachowski

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