Loved Ones: And yet, those we beget (more often than not) render our lot worthwhile.
Just Desserts: Getting what one deserves is unfortunately (and fortunately) a matter of fortune.
Modern History: A Short History: New know-how, old instincts, more or less restrained by liberal ideals.
Alternatives: Those who know how to spend time have less of it for money.
Room-Mates: The longer one lives with one's convictions the harder it gets to evict them.
Traces: When you're down and out, don't worry: read a biography or two . . . it turns out you're just another story.
On the road: By moving, one ensures that one's current abode isn't one's last.
Changes: With age, we measure pleasure by the absence of pain.
The Inevitable and the Improbable: Worry not of the rot that is your body's lot . . . Marvel instead at your LUCK that your mother and father opted to copulate on that special date!
Capitalism: A most productive and destructive product of acquisitiveness and invention.
The Barbarian: Comforted by evolutionary explanations for his conduct, he is nonetheless distressed by the fact that acts with no apparent biological cause attract so much applause.
Useful Abuse: Having cursed the sky for its kind of non-sense, and man for his kind, he felt a lot worse, with nothing left to curse.
Anti-Socialism: To get anywhere essential, turn your back on the world.
One-on-One: Having explained almost every natural disaster, we're left alone to master the last.
Immortality: If we were ever to live forever we'd still be addicted to pleasure and esteem (i.e., dopamine).
Picassos: What more pathetic sight than a painter's genetic legacy warring over his memetic one?
Herds: If you've never felt your self melt into a crowd, you've never allowed part of you out.
Personality: Tell me what truths you keep afar, and I'll tell you who you are.
Self Management: To ensure self-image be sure to distort that of others.
Knock, knock: It's harder to philosophize with the taxman than with the Grim Reaper at the door.
Philosophizing: The Two Camps: One, the few who wonder why so few do, and, two, the many who wonder why ANY do.
Democracy: The Origin: Placation of upstarts by the powers that be.
Sports Fan: Whether anything's progressing, regressing or just gressing is all the same, given the prospect of Sunday's game.
Mourning: She's dead: poor me.
Sedimentation: In the end we tend to befriend those who've settled at our level.
Fantasy Island: The coast was inhabited by dogs and sharks, no ships dared approach: they could hear the barks.
Gases: Nothing is more volatile than the consciousness of our conscious self-deception.
Step Forward: You've made progress when you're no longer distressed by human stu- and cupidity.
Art History Question: Has art been greater under monarchs, clerics and aristocrats, or merchants, curators and plutocrats?
Lexicographic Tactic: 'Cynicism' had to become pejorative for hope to survive reality.
Home Remedy 1: Unpleasant thoughts are cured by thinking about something else.
Taboos: Fortunately, for order and progress, certain fundamental matters only obsess an (un)privileged few.
GDP: A TRULY developed country would know it need no longer grow.
Strivings: At least failure doesn't leave you with an empty feeling.
Realistic Development Goals: Though we're doomed to be dumb and dead, destitution is not anybody's lot.
Tautologies: Taking the Lord's name is always in vain.
Apostate: Upon hearing that God had kicked the bucket, he said 'Fuck it!' and embarked on a life of leisure and pleasure.
Peace of Mind: Better for sure to be sure, right or wrong, than in doubt.
Life Planning: As hoped, I actually did something once. Now I hope remembering meets my needs as hope goes to seed.
Perspectives: The wise seem beside rather than above it all.
Artists All: No exercise of creative imagination is more popular and widespread than falling in love.
Funerals: Offering condolences is always easier when under amnesia (about one's own lot).
Fachidiot: Billions of neurons discovering mind-boggling truths without wondering.
Post-20th Century Challenge: Try to improve the lot of mankind with no utopia in mind.
The Self: An illusion generally worth fighting for.
Phases: A mid-life crisis is a dry-run for the late-life one.
Aspiration: To find some serenity in the findings of science.
Monotheisms: The genesis of much comfort and hell here on Earth.
Different Strokes: Some curse the distractions that keep them from living their lives, others can't live without them.
Aphasic Astonishment: Proof that the truth has sunk in.
Courses: One man excels to defy death, the other embraces it to defy failure.
Chimeras: Happy and hopeless.
Those Were the Days!: His lyrics make for less passionate songs, now that the dictator has gone.
Our Course: From remains to being and back.
Blessings: Without celebrities we'd ALL be insignificant.
Paradox: Given how little of life we recall, it's a wonder we care for it at all.
Diogenes and co.: We ostracize the wise as 'cynics' for mixing insight with irony.
Genealogy: Looking down on her life she sought comfort in her family tree.
Heroes: Medals were pinned repeatedly on soldiers who had sinned, but been forgiven (given the circumstances), for having (repeatedly) broken a number of the ten commandments.
Cognition: Most people say what they think, but few think about what they say.
Techniques: We cure disappointment by becoming appointed with something else.
Objectives: Maybe we should return to striving for happiness in the hereafter?
Political Variants: Democracy dumbs down, aristocracy dumbs up.
Succession: Generations are nature's way of updating nostalgia.
Moderate's Mission: Try holding back a ransacking pack of white and black with grey.
Liberation Aftermath: Ideas that once landed one in jail now fail to elicit any response.
Lepers: The lucid are rightly ostracised: why risk derailment by the facts from the skies when we're up to our eyes with those of our lives?
Development: Going from wanting what we need to needing what we want.
Sentimental Performance: Tears flowed when the audience was exposed to the possibility of unprescribed and unrewarded kindness and decency.
Second Principle of Indeterminacy: Life cannot be examined and lived simultaneously.
Protective Carapaces: How quickly we reach the age when changing ourselves is not too hard but too late.
Generation Gap: The young, twenty meters along the conveyor belt, made fun of those who knelt fifty meters ahead.
Trappings: Take any distant ancestor, strip him, shave his head: there you are!
'Lazy Natives!': Curse those who first forced others to work beyond their desires and needs.
Responses: Nothing stuns us more than extreme evil (except for extreme good).
Eden: He a man, she a woman, otherwise they had little in common.
Folk Wisdom: Proverbial support that's at hand whatever your plan.
Precautionary Principle: Many non-believers would just rather not take the Lord's name in vain.
Pulverization: Every single thing ends -- consoling the sad, saddening the glad.
Post-Enlightenment Stress Disorder: The more we know the more we long for the status quo (ante).
Life Projects: She had a philosophical bent before becoming inclined to swelling mankind.
What's the Problem?: What is there to understand in a hydrogen cloud that (eventually) resulted in a being trying to understand?
All Told: To be conscious is to envy the unconscious.
Faux Pas: Never force polite company into thought.
History Exam Question: Which period of history was the biggest waste of time? Explain.
Opposition: Enemies account for only a fraction of the enmity we endure.
Intended and Unintended Uses: One takes his telescope and focuses on the enemy; the other takes his, points it to the sky, and wonders why.
Distribution: The have-nots had better bet on bigger pies than bigger slices.
Our Progress: From subjects of the Almighty's wrath, to objects subject to the forces of nature.
Without Us: The universe would remain problematic even if our condition weren't tragicomic.
Geography: All men are islands, but we like to huddle so closely we mostly feel continental.
Human Condition: The best analgesic to being bare, forked and muddled is to be cuddled.
Nuances: The pessimist thinks the abyss is half-empty, the optimist insists it's half-full.
Chain of Being: One big difference between a fungus and us (apparently) is that we have a name for it.
Dance Sociology: Not all have-nots have rhythm, but most haves haven't.
Ethics Exam Question: Why is copulating for money more offensive than marrying for it?
Comforts: The sole reward for peering into the pit is the dignity of not having turned one's back on it.
Commercial Break: Having dredged in vain for my REAL me, I came across a promising brand . . . So I purchased my true self right off the shelf!
Living Logic: Not unborn, not defunct, ergo sum.
Prerequisites: Wisdom calls for proportionally more balls than brains.
Arithmetic: Lonely plus lonely equals coupled.
Theisms: No other belief bothers believers more than non-belief.
Motivation: He wrote to understand but published to persuade others he'd understood.
Rust: Nothing corrodes integrity like deference to power, wealth and celebrity (however gained).
Art-World Dialectics: Burghers invariably blemish the (consenting) bohemians they relish.
Priorities: At one time she was mesmerized by the skies. Now she only has time for the eyes of her offspring.
Consolation: Sighing for what we'll miss once our dying is done: discoveries, inventions, gadgets, titles and trends, voyages to the sun . . . Sighing, but smiling: man's future wonders we cannot know, but the future nature of the wonder of man we surely can.
'One upon a time ... ' That fabulous perennial narcotic.
Fractions: A life well lived is made of day-to-days well lived.
Bloody Interruptions: His killer rudely intruded into his philosophical musings on the meaning of life.
Necessary Neologism: Not significant nor insignificant, we're simply asignificant: matter that doesn't matter.
Asymmetries: Physical delight is no match for decrepitude in driving home the hegemony of our flesh and bones.
Identities: We are what we want.
Time for More 'Spiritual' Solutions: Busy, drugged, distracted, but unable of late to transcend self, reality or fate.
Warning Label: 'Life is hazardous to your health. Don't start: Say No.'
Civilization: The product of the unproductive use of a society's surplus (however extracted).
Populisms: Oligarchs ignore the modest needs of democracy's masses at everyone's peril.
Lost Opportunities: Too bad we usually feel too rotten to benefit from our sick-bed's perspective.
Debate Proposition: 'An anti-climax beats no climax at all.'
Milk and Honey: Apparently, prosperity merely turns most poor into former poor.
Age Management: With time, the struggle consists of bolstering the present with the help of the future (however daunting), against the encroachment of the past (however haunting).
Definitions: Fortune is the opportunity to realize oneself, physically, emotionally and intellectually; happiness is to do so.
Discussion: Some waste too much time trying to persuade the unpersuadable of the obvious.
Recommendation: Lend an ear if you hear of one who changed nothing when informed his end was near.
Antonyms: The opposite of both hopeful and hopeless is hopefree.
Palliative: It got so dark . . . He took pen and paper (tools to understand why), but all he came up with was a list of things to buy.
Double Destiny: What's worse than no longer being? Why, being a corpse of course.
'To be, or not to be: that is the question': By what sad (or happy) alchemy does reiteration raise depth to banality?
Just wondering . . . : Has yesterday's pregnancy (my wife's) met the criteria for a panacea (my life's)?
Prescription: Being lucid about our nature and fate won't hurt you; in fact it could be the seedbed for modern virtue.
Vandal Taxonomy: Some smash what we've made for its magnificence, some for its mediocrity, and the rest for the joy of destroying.
To be avoided: Hitting upon how best to live in your final hours.
A Different Approach: Perhaps becoming BORED by it all would facilitate the transition to our final state?
Bach, Beethoven and Brahms: Given their historical failure in preventing abysmal behaviour, perhaps Beckett and co. should be tried the next go.
Cabal: True friends share one's illusions till the end.
Beasts: No cruelty exceeds that endured by beings incapable of it.
Check-Up: Nothing like a good colonoscope to regain perspective.
Curiosity: Need to know from whence we came, need to know of what we're made. Need to know how to live (serenely) with the answers.
Different Strokes: Being in-style, up-to-date and looking good! Being clothed, informed and looking, just looking...
Outlook: Prospects are particularly poor: too many are too sure about too much.
Dissonances: We love animals with human traits and inpute animal traits to humans we hate.
Home Remedy 2: Dreams are cured by doing something else.
Shames: Our biological needs and drives deprive us of our pretty picture of ourselves.
Gonad Management Challenge: Males are eternal addicts and younger females (ephemeral) sources of sexual narcotics.
Grind: Most of us survive by daily living and daily dying (and daily denying the latter).
Economic Tigers: Late modernizing nations seem to be spared the despair (and brilliance) of tormented selves.
Outsiders: Keep clear of those who keep company with nothingness. They won't fuss: they too are bent on avoiding us.
Global Panacea Action Programme: Stimulate other (socially- and environmentally-friendly) sources of status, pleasure and 'immortality'.
Bohr and Bombs: While science uncertains our nature, our technology asserts it with a vengeance.
Manichaeism: Either/or makes it so easy to keep score!
Expectations: Miserable months are no match for the prospect of joyful days.
Disarmament Proposal: Beat all swords into pillows (and check for stones).
Erogenous Zones: Is being devoid of them better than having them avoided?
Insomnia: He never lost sleep over his ultimate lot, but lost lots over his neighbour's new yacht.
Pet Dogs: Wolves we've moulded to embody what we most look for in each other.
Metaphysical Worry: That there's something and not nothing is perplexing, but how vexing it is that the something is THIS!
Vulnerability: No wisdom has the might to withstand the right smiling eyes.
Cutting Edges: The only remedy to contemporary frenzy that lasts is the past.
Time- and Tree-Saving Decree Proposal: Henceforth, philosophers may write just one book, completed just before their end and published shortly thereafter.
Nothing to it: Our fatal flaw is the feeling of knowing it all following a minor (or no) mental effort.
Erudites: Info nymphos who derive pride in confirming others' lack of learning.
Genocides: In a crunch, it's clearly a cinch to hate and destroy others, particularly if they claim superiority (and we suspect it).
Ponzi Scheme Clients: Guilty victims.
Letting Go: A sedated self is key to most glee.
No Ifs, Buts or Whys: Simply put, the stars simply are.
Recipe: Tolerance's main ingredient is expedience.
Others' Beliefs: Shouldn't we aspire higher than tolerance? What about indifference?
Courage to Know: Somehow no fact, subatomic or cosmic, geo- or biologic, has quite the impact of the chrono- and necrologic.
What's New?: Novelty is rarely compatible with a good memory.
Inner Realism: Taking time to react to the fact of the slime, and other natural properties, of my liver.
Obligations: Heaven is an empty in-basket . . . Hell is as well.
Posterity: The main problem is that we live on in the memory of mere mortals.
That Whore: Reason!: The most odious human beliefs and behaviours known are also escorted by a logic of their own.
Political Philosophy Exam Question: Who is worse off: He who has no use for his freedom, or he, unfree, who'd have many a use for his?
Mediocrity's Logic: No man is perfect, ergo we're all (equally) imperfect.
Augustine, Pascal, Kierkegaard, et al.: One can share their despair but not their flair for celestial fantasy.
Palaeontology: Homo sapiens sapiens should know enough to know better.
How to Stop Time: Avoid beginnings.
Turnarounds: What transition is more abrupt than that between pitying the dying and envying the dead?
Basic Political Economy (2): Who says, does and gets what.
Canine Companions: Some find having hounds around less of a grind than human kind.
Neo-Blasphemers: Secular sect who prod God without believing in him.
Small Consolations: Others can't live in line with their beliefs: what a relief!
Path to Modesty: A good start is to see us as unbelievably smart (and conscious) blue-green algae.
Anonymity: Better to add to wisdom than be added to the wise.
Modernization: Having little trouble adapting to change, having lots adapting to none.
Enemies: In time, envy was elbowed aside by pride, as his friend's fame bolstered his own name.
Natural Perspectives: Funny how tsunamis don't distinguish between the organic and the inorganic.
Commodity Markets: Pork bellies were up today! Surprise! I woke up today, surprised.
Curriculum: Forget the constant conquering, pillaging and converting . . . The only human history worthy of being taught is that of thought.
Peace and Love: What we all deeply long for is to our credit, our tragedy is our strategy.
Accounting: Letting hope loose has its cost: the time it takes to recover from its loss.
Past Images: Someday, long after you're gone, some stranger's existence will pause an instant, as they gaze into a picture of your face.
Six of One . . . : Where holy texts don't ensnare thinking, other cares do.
Distinctions: Knowledge is mostly a matter of discovery and dismembering, wisdom of recovery and remembering.
Meteoritic Impacts: Lunatics must envy the moon for having gotten away from us.
Literati: The second-rate who venerate the first-rate and deflate the rest of us.
Preventive Intervention: Fearing seeing something she didn't have or couldn't be, she unplugged her TV.
'It's just the way it is': Have more profound words ever been uttered around a fresh grave?
People: Only the secure seem cured of the need to smother others.
Digital Growth: Geometric in quantity, arithmetic in quality.
Social Animals: Hermits, though alone, are prone to take comfort in knowing they're not the only ones.
Civil-War Veterans: I killed ALL his relatives: he'd murdered two of mine . . . Now I'm told he's growing old and dying of the same disease as me.
Clashing Theisms: There's only one true fairytale you heathen! The one I believe in!
Aggression: Save your hardest blows for those who'd awaken the violence and hatred that lie dormant in us all.
Cooption: The best answer to the unanswerable is to inhabit the question.
Basic Needs: Granted, man cannot live by bread alone, but many men can by bread, butter and jam.
Father and Offspring: Having fought for heaven on earth and failed, he now floundered in his criticism of his son's cynicism.
Memories: The past is usually too weak to dethrone our version of it -- but not always.
In Flanders Fields: Soldiers soon learn they share more with their foe than with the folks back home.
Challenges: A missionary's Everest is a missionary of another bent.
Body: The joy of physical being defies description: its attainment implies containment of thought and words.
Heterodoxies: Alexander's greatness lay not in his conquests or being a god, but in his request for an audience with Diogenes the dog.
Spanish Cultural Itinerary: Having rubbernecked before flesh and kings (and other elect) mounted on crosses and horses, the tourists were bussed to the bull ring.
Wanderlust: How strange that we dream of strange lands, while strangers there dream of ours.
Roots: Rights inherited or granted are rights poorly planted.
Different Tacks: Pet owners purchase their loved ones, while parents produce their own.
Help Wanted: Any clown can tell up from down. Sadly, there aren't too many clowns around.
New Scenarios: When we're extinct (with a little luck) evolution will take another course, perhaps pausing at the horse . . . or the duck.
Killers: Only disease has destroyed more of us than metaphor and euphemism.
The Western Way: Elected oligarchs usually realise how little it takes to tranquillize the rest of us.
The Hard Part: Disbelieving is a picnic compared to weaving disbelief into being.
Added Commandment: Thou shalt not disabuse thy neighbour (or his wife).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Surely social security should also cover the vacuum left by the death of our enemies?
Killing Fields: For some reason our Dionysian brutality appalls us less than the Apollonian variety.
Sour Grapes: The loser had the temerity to tell the victor that even posterity's days were numbered.
La tentation de la facilité: The greatest hindrance to human flourishing.
Locations: All living are somewhere or other, all deceased are nowhere.
Fugitives: Our lives (and their meaning) escape us.
Philosophy Exam Question: When are words of wisdom most valuable? When they are: a) Quoted? b) Paraphrased? c) Plagiarized? d) Re-Created? e) Original? f) None of the above?
Vestiges: The thinking of too many atheists is tainted by apostasy.
Principles of Philanthropy: It's easier to shame the acquisitive into sharing than into forswearing their greed.
'Because it is written': Words that kill.
One Digital Consequence: Quality mongerers, a smug minority when masses mattered not, are cowered and lost now that masses matter most.
Wrongs: What's irksome about injustice in society is how it diverts us from the cosmic variety.
Instigators: The naive, who believe in the goodness of man, often bring it about.
Drinks: Love is life's wine, not its water.
Stellar Conspiracy: Our very own star blinds us to the reality revealed by darkness.
Firmament: How wonderful to gaze at the stars without wondering.
Blah, Blah, Blah: How repetitive the sages have been through the ages!
Interests: Somehow we favour free elections and markets when they favour us.
Umpapa, umpapa . . . : For better or worse the blessing (or curse) of reflection abandons us as we abandon ourselves to music.
Seneca et al. versus Buddha et al.: Why do we have to dig so deep for words of wisdom and infinitely deeper for those who live by them?
Horticulture: You can't transplant wisdom: just grow it at home (on your own).
Patria o Muerte!: National liberators are better at liberating countries than people.
Species Pride: Humans are at their finest when passionately engaged in the useless.
Update: The bad news is there's never been a God. The other news is that it's not dead.
Civilized Toast: Quiet! Let us all raise a glass to spontaneity, enthusiasm and passion.
Elites: Though open to all new comers, the intellectual minority remains the most resented.
Counter-Inquisition: The Special Court of Eminent Scientists voted to behead the noted theologian, who had declared he found E=mc2 'somewhat unsound'.
Surroundings: Reality seems so real that it takes a major leap of imagination to realize how unreal it really is.
Broadband: Do communication revolutions produce diminutions of misunderstanding?
The Future: Predictability shrinks the time we have left.
Bohemians: Those claiming not to conform have no business craving the raves (and custom) of those who do.
Time of Your Life: . . . now, then, now, then, now, then, YOU!, now, then, now, then, now, then, you (NOT!), now, then, now, then, now, then . . .
Muse: The poet felt obliged, after his last affair, to put pen to paper and say something about her hair.
Consistency: If a misanthrope has a child, can it be the object of love?
Birthday: Having circled the sun seventy times, he grabbed his gun: he'd seen and been enough.
Social-Democratic Challenge: Ride greed's coat-tails without stalling or falling.
Old Juggler: Less and less able to keep life's knives in the air: time to retire.
Comparative Biology: Other (more fortunate) life forms can't formulate the questions, this one can't formulate the answers.
Temperamental Differences: Some care about not being caught unawares, while others don't mind the surprise when they capsize.
Pause: While jostling for immortality, consider the fossil.
Potential: What gap is wider than that between what we are and what we could be? What resentment is deeper than that reserved for those who expose it for all to see?
At the End of the Day: Battle-fields are replete with the melancholies of both defeat and victory.
Nightly News: Tuned into the new, counted blessings, rated the latest attempts at making history, then, duly informed, brushed his teeth and went to his pillows . . . one day older.
Doubts: Seculars tend to suspend disbelief for births and burials.
The Scientist's Course: From ignorance, to inspiration, to indifference.
Halcyon Days: Most are sustained by memories of times lived under the influence of innocence.
Milestones: Think of all the ages you've been that once seemed so old.
Balls: Aging sedentarily, he warily felt for unusual bumps on his testicles. Finding none, he zipped up and zapped over to Wimbledon.
Tact: A billionaire should not talk to a hundredaire about the financial misfortunes of a millionaire.
Post-Prime Paths: Some stay young, though aged and greyed . . . Others just succumb and become ruins.
Barricades: Few revolutionary idealists have managed to amass a following of full bellies.
Proposal for Yardstick: 'Greedspeed': How fast we move from having enough to needing more.
Acclaim: Few seem contemptuous of the adulation of those they deem contemptible.
Pooling: With time, the very old have more in common with each other than with their younger selves.
Shifts: Remember way back when, when we worshipped the past, then the future, before settling on the present?
Much Better!: At last her life saw some improvement: there was no change but lots of movement.
Leveling: Given our lot, we all merit compassion whether suffering or not.
Beau Monde: One could bear it more if the fortunate laid less claim to merit.
Litmus: The best test is wanting to wake (and get) up.
Hasty Judgments: Critics should be told to be patient: this mammal's only 8,000-generations old.
Tactics: Perhaps the gods would respond more positively if our prayers weren't so obviously self-serving?
Catastrophes: Maybe we should start considering man-made disasters natural?
'They treat us like animals!': Words that disgrace both perpetrators and victims.
Naive Exasperation: You preachers, predators and killers: have you no mirrors?!
Self-Consciousness: Wondering whether or not to opt for thought while jumping for joy.
Conversationalist: One whose passion is to discover with the other.
Bibliophily: Deceased companions are a great antidote to living aliens.
Whatever works . . . : What's so wrong after all with wallowing in nostalgia while being swallowed by time?!
Neo-Scolasticism: Maybe it's time to redirect our best minds to theological niceties and give nature a break.
Challenge: Seek to understand what one can, and stand up to what one can't.
Human Life: An electro-chemical conspiracy of hope.
Liberation: Cages can be opened and gates swung wide . . . but most prefer to stay inside.
Correction: In the land of the blind the one-eyed are drowned, not crowned.
Observation: How to be lucid and not blue? That, too, is the question.
To Stage Parents: Average offspring are no misfortune: mediocrity is itself no mean accomplishment.
Candide's Question: Deep down, don't the affluent wonder whether their worth is all they're worth?
Cohen Leaves the Table: A privileged lifelong friend who could wait right to to the end, before passing on sensual (but not spiritual) ways out of our impasse,
New Western Orthodoxy: 'I believe none of these dumb explanations . . . But there must be SOME explanation.'
Modern Art: A Short History: From irreverence to irrelevance.
Projections: If only not having lived well was as terrifying as dying.
Urban Curse: If only we could hear noise without listening to it.
Spoilsport: Who would have the gall to question the meaning of it all in a hall filled with mothers at play with their children?
Midstream: Many draw the benefits but hardly any the conclusions of modern science.
What Are We Here For?: The most profound of presumptuous questions (and vice versa).
Let-Downs: Revolutionary leaders and their followers are doomed to mutual disappointment.
Tragic, depressing, wonderful, wretched, absurd, divine, a bitch, a beach . . . : Fortunately words always fall short of an accurate description of our condition.
After All: Death borne in mind helps our kind in living not dying (though some contend a life well-lived has a gentler end).
Planning: The best time to expire is just this side of the line separating expectation from disillusion.
Fence-sitting: The agnostic gives equal weight to the wildly improbable and the all-but-certain.
Nova: He went relatively rapidly from no-one to number one and back.
2003 Baghdad Blues: As yet another power bullies its way into Mesopotamia, one begins to resent the time spent reconfirming the lack of mystery in history.
Desire: Nature's antidote to boredom.
Pursuit of Happiness: A favoured distraction.
Directions: The modern is a cul-de-sac: one can only get out by going back.
Records: Old photos are images of what we've become.
Romantic's Despair: Some are forced and others fight for the right to exercise the oldest profession.
In the Last Analysis: Living (and dying) in the dark is the worst part of it.
Maturation: One begins to understand when undeluded (that's why the young are excluded).
Quest: Tired of the superficial, he longed for the spiritual and opted for the ritual (and vision) of a somewhat organised religion.
Impasse: What do you do when you've seen the light and it's out?
Generation: No single little thing changes things more than an offspring.
Protective Labels: What would we do without words that neutralize truths that terrorize?
Opportunity Costs: Too many on-shore discussions keep too many from proceeding along the pier alone.
Aphasia: Some truths strike one dumb: no way (nor desire) to tell anyone . . .
Basic Political Economy: Newly satisfied consumers rarely care whether their rulers are ruthless.
Creative Minds: From dust to us to dust. No matter: both dead and living are bred in the heads of the latter.
Dynamics: The more the past accumulates the sooner it becomes too late to cogitate.
Humans: No animal is more intelligent and none more stupid.
Distractions We Live By: It all boils down to one question: 'What's your poison?'
The Objective: Blend large measures of pleasure and lucidity in life.
Foodstuff: Humans were a lot more materialistic (philosophically) when they prayed not to be preyed upon.
Human Tally: Our greatest biological achievement: to have numbered ninety billion, and counting . . .
Look of Innocents: Many of us owe our life's advance to the glances of creatures unaware of our shared fate.
What others will say: Too many are confused about whose views they should care about most.
Collective Performance: When claiming credit for ancestors' successes, do likewise for their nastier excesses (even if they're one and the same).
Ecce Homo: A bipedal mammal characterised by its remarkable intelligence and the trouble it has in using it.
Chain: And to think that your dad's dad probably worried about the world he'd bequeath his kid's kid!
Reactions: Superior wealth sparks envy, superiority itself resentment.
Relief: Let's do all that we love to each other and, for a moment, forget Beckett, the bills and your mother.
Ruts: So many regrets relate less to having said 'yes!', than to not having said 'basta!' sooner.
Nostalgia: She missed the blissful days of ignorance, when there was still a chance (though small) of making sense of it all.
Warning: Beware of disillusion with your own kind: you may find yourself embracing ancient Greeks or Golden Retrievers.
Closing Time: Many a wise old man lives in mortal fear of encountering something overlooked.
Different Perspectives: From the point of view of the Spanish flu the Great War was no more than a prelude.
Lovers: In a mesh of flesh and fluids, they took time off from the troughs of their separate selves.
Prophet: You must follow and trust me. There's nothing to dread: I myself am being led!
Walden: Restauration, copulation and vacation: best-selling palliatives for (quiet) desperation.
Histories: Personal history is also 'one damned thing after another', except that it ends with one damned thing like no other.
Parsing: Life is said to be sacred, shit holy and wine divine . . . Thank heaven for little adjectives!
Parallels: Somehow, both love and democracy are particularly vulnerable to the contempt of familiarity.
Reforms: We owe many a marginal improvement to extremists who revolted for radical ones.
Socio-Political Breakdown: The fissures appear when the law-abiding begin to feel foolish.