“Maundering Monday” is a new feature here at Consolations Many Forms, wherein I discuss various topics of no particular interest in a maddeningly random order. Today’s theme: how outrageously prescient Mark Twain was in comments made more than 100 years ago.
Some people are offended the Mall of America hired their first black Santa Claus; I am offended it has taken this long to do it.
… I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I know it.
I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being – that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.
– Mark Twain, Harpers Magazine, March 1898
December: the season when lights, shopping, family, music, commercialism, and hectoring diatribes about commercialism can all be found in equal abundance.
The approach of Christmas brings harrassment and dread to many excellent people. They have to buy a cart-load of presents, and they never know what to buy to hit the various tastes; they put in three weeks of hard and anxious work, and when Christmas morning comes they are so dissatisfied with the result, and so disappointed that they want to sit down and cry. Then they give thanks that Christmas comes but once a year.
– Mark Twain, “Following the Equator”
I’ve been asked why I insist on trying to look for the good in people. There are two primary reasons: (1) I’m grateful for those who have looked for the good in me, given what I’m actually like in real life; and (2) we can’t build anything better without starting with the good we have.
It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you.
Mark Twain, “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar”
If I wanted to avoid excessive discussion of politics, choosing to become a blogger was not the wisest choice. To me, human beings are very much like dogs in that individually we can be lovable, but in packs, we’re just dangerous.
The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.
– Twain, Mark (2013-10-05). Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Complete and Authoritative Edition (Autobiography of Mark Twain series) (p. 409). University of California Press. Kindle Edition.
It’s hackneyed I know, but I tend to feel more grateful this time of year. I also tend to feel more on edge. The former is my reaction to what the season should be; the latter is my reaction to what the season actually is.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
– Mark Twain, “Pudd’nhead Wilson“