Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Mayoralty of Macedon

Episode X
Listen to Chiron, children!.

Or read the end of the story on the abacus.
Happy birthday (tomorrow) to TLP and TSDUFF! Saturday stories will return in the new year, Insha'llah.

Friday, November 28, 2008


NOVEL, n. A short story padded. A species of composition bearing the same relation to literature that the panorama bears to art. As it is too long to be read at a sitting the impressions made by its successive parts are successively effaced, as in the panorama. Unity, totality of effect, is impossible; for besides the few pages last read all that is carried in mind is the mere plot of what has gone before. To the romance the novel is what photography is to painting. Its distinguishing principle, probability, corresponds to the literal actuality of the photograph and puts it distinctly into the category of reporting; whereas the free wing of the romancer enables him to mount to such altitudes of imagination as he may be fitted to attain; and the first three essentials of the literary art are imagination, imagination and imagination. The art of writing novels, such as it was, is long dead everywhere except in Russia, where it is new. Peace to its ashes — some of which have a large sale.

2008 Update: The labors of Heracles as presented to the sallow and pencil-necked; a great test of a writer's diligence, organization, thievishness and repetition. Rewards to a successful challenger include an august place on low shelves in airports and bus stations as well as the possibility of going unread in thousands of homes. On the day it is fully realized that blogs accomplish everything that novels achieve without concentration, the great presses at Simon and Schuster may finally rest silently in hell.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


NIHILIST, n. A Russian who denies the existence of anything but Tolstoi. The leader of the school is Tolstoi.

2008: Update: The pupa by which a creeping idealist becomes a winged scold.

Happy Thanksgiving, and to Karma and Karishma: stay safe. Holidays and armed idiots tarry but a short while.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A holiday limerick

Searching our sad hearts for gratitude
Gives us considerable latitude
To name poverty
Or dreams that won't be
Tis a pity that won't fit a platitude.

GRATEFULNESS, n. The stage before satisfaction.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


NOISE, n. A stench in the ear. Undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization.

2008 Update: The neighbor's pulse.

Monday, November 24, 2008


NEPOTISM, n. Appointing your grandmother to office for the good of the party.

2008 Update: The application of genetics to insure management of consistent quality.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Mayoralty of Macedon

Episode IX
Listen to Diogenes, children!.

Or read the inscription on the flattened bodies of the boys.

Cartoons from Diogenes and The Bad Boys of Corinth by Wilhelm Busch

Friday, November 21, 2008


ELECTOR, n. One who enjoys the sacred privilege of voting for the man of another man's choice.

2008 Update: In American democracy, a voter selected by ballot to misrepresent the outcome of the election.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


ERUDITION, n. Dust shaken out of a book into an empty skull.
So wide his erudition's mighty span,
He knew Creation's origin and plan
And only came by accident to grief —
He thought, poor man, 'twas right to be a thief.
—Romach Pute
2008 Update: Dour folly.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Settling in for winter

The skies and trees change as expected,
But other seasons are directed
By voters, pols and other fellows,
Pounding wood and squeezing bellows,
To tarry until properly elected.

A new day, like a river, came,
And though we'd prefer each one were tame
Each one arrives in its due course
And is tracked back to its likely source
To dam and damn and blame.

The best that we can do, I think,
Is pour ourselves a nice warm drink,
Build a fire to heat our feet,
Take a slice of something sweet,
And rest a bit, at home upon the brink.

BARREL, n. A fashion deplored for reflecting effort rather than ambition.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


EJECTION, n. An approved remedy for the disease of garrulity. It is also much used in cases of extreme poverty.

2008 Update: A flight from chaos or conflict, taken involuntarily.

Monday, November 17, 2008


ELEGY, n. A composition in verse, in which, without employing any of the methods of humor, the writer aims to produce in the reader's mind the dampest kind of dejection. The most famous English example begins somewhat like this:
The cur foretells the knell of parting day;
The loafing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;
The wise man homeward plods; I only stay
To fiddle-faddle in a minor key.
2008 Update: A rhyming lamentation, as if complaints ever don't rhyme. 
Elegies ring from hill to grotto,
So many suffer who really ought to;
So many struggle in fact and lore;
With the thought we've heard these songs before.
-G. Jonas Tinkleworth

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Mayoralty of Macedon

Episode VIII
Never click on a naked old man unless you're willing to hear a story.

And stay away from dogs unless you can read.

Friday, November 14, 2008


PHILISTINE, n. One whose mind is the creature of its environment, following the fashion in thought, feeling and sentiment. He is sometimes learned, frequently prosperous, commonly clean and always solemn.

2008 Update: One insufficiently refined to digest the advancements of the pack.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


PASSPORT, n. A document treacherously inflicted upon a citizen going abroad, exposing him as an alien and pointing him out for special reprobation and outrage.

2008 Update: An international letter of credit, promising to redeem the bearer when debauched.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Lumbering, Tumbling Giant

The townsfolk in Michigan know one giant well.
Every step that he took, he stumbled and fell.
Each time that he fell the ground rumbled and shook,
And women clutched babies each step that he took.

The towns didn't prosper but nor did they fail,
For the giant moved slowly, like the laziest snail.
So the folk watched the sky and built shelters and such.
"Sure, it's bad when he walks, but he doesn't move much."

Then one day, he fell and did not rise again.
The townsfolk all feared for their lumbering friend.
Burying him would take all the folk had
But alive, as a monument, he wasn't half bad.

GENERAL MOTORS, n. A holding company for disbursements.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


POSSIBLE, adj.  Everything, to him who has patience-and money.

2008 Update:  Not before the California legislature.

Monday, November 10, 2008


PANTALOONS, n. A nether habiliment of the adult civilized male. The garment is tubular and unprovided with hinges at the points of flexion. Supposed to have been invented by a humorist. Called "trousers" by the enlightened and "pants" by the unworthy.

2008 Update: A sheath for the sensible side of a human, inhibiting flight and so requiring negotiation.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Mayoralty of Macedon

Episode VII
Listen with the new mayor.

Or read a map of the heavens with Orion

Friday, November 07, 2008


TOMB, n. The House of Indifference. Tombs are now by common consent invested with a certain sanctity, but when they have been long tenanted it is considered no sin to break them open and rifle them, the famous Egyptologist, Dr. Huggyns, explaining that a tomb may be innocently "glened" as soon as its occupant is done "smellynge," the soul being then all exhaled. This reasonable view is now generally accepted by archaeologists, whereby the noble science of Curiosity has been greatly dignified.

2008 Update: A musty palace for the freshly innocent and recently wise.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


THEOSOPHY, n. An ancient faith having all the certitude of religion and all the mystery of science. The modern Theosophist holds, with the Buddhists, that we live an incalculable number of times on this earth, in as many several bodies, because one life is not long enough for our complete spiritual development; that is, a single lifetime does not suffice for us to become as wise and good as we choose to wish to become. To be absolutely wise and good — that is perfection; and the Theosophist is so keen-sighted as to have observed that everything desirous of improvement eventually attains perfection. Less competent observers are disposed to except cats, which seem neither wiser nor better than they were last year. The greatest and fattest of recent Theosophists was the late Madame Blavatsky, who had no cat.

2008 Update: A society founded to form the nucleus of a universal family joined by wisdom, consciousness and perfectibility rather than the folly, chance and corruption from which all other things derive kinship.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

November 5th in America

Congratulations to those who made history last night
Sympathies to who failed at the ballot.
But one victory drawn troublingly clear, sharp and bright,
Goes to meddlesome bother, whatever you call it.

The left won Virginia, the right California,
And the lesson if you're willing to listen:
Is your countryfolk quiver to correct, rule and scorn you
And another's gold's all that seems to glisten.

The reason we follow constitutional law
And defend it with all of our labor,
Is that most would deplore a long nose in the craw
While busy sniffing after their neighbor.
MAJORITY RULE, n. The method of government that honors each citizen above his fellow.

Sorry to be a buzz kill, grinning leftists, but this kills me. To paraphrase my LORD and Savior, among others, unless you'd have your own beliefs and behavior submitted to your neighbors' approval, don't vote on theirs. 
A final atypical editorial comment: Thank you to John McCain, the best Republican I've voted for and maybe the last.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


TAKE, v.t. To acquire, frequently by force but preferably by stealth.

2008 Update: To lend a debt.

To my American friends: Please amuse your poll-workers today.  In this and only this lies the virtue of democracy.

Monday, November 03, 2008


TAIL, n. The part of an animal's spine that has transcended its natural limitations to set up an independent existence in aworld of its own. Excepting in its foetal state, Man is without a tail, a privation of which he attests an hereditary and uneasy consciousness by the coat-skirt of the male and the train of the female, and by a marked tendency to ornament that part of his attire where the tail should be, and indubitably once was. This tendency is most observable in the female of the species, in whom the ancestral sense is strong and persistent. The tailed men described by Lord Monboddo are now generally regarded as a product of an imagination unusually susceptible to influences generated in the golden age of our pithecan past.

2008 Update: The speech apparatus opposite the tongue to which credibility is allocated. Woe becomes the species with tongue and no tail for such are never to be believed at all. 

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Mayoralty of Macedon

Episode VI
Come listen by the ancient plumbing

Or hop up and read.

Two other things: First, Rabbit Rabbit!

And you might have noticed some, uh, contained enthusiasm here. I think Waking Ambrose will continue until after TLP's and Terry's birthday for one more Rabbit Rabbit and then go blank for the rest of December.