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Thor's Short Cuts - Aphorisms  & Unwise Thoughts
1988 to 1998 PART 2 (Part 1: 1998 to now)


100. Free Speech

Language is the world's only truly democratic institution. Right from wrong in speech is always decided by common usage.


99. Cementing the bones of Truth

Faith in Authority cements the bones of Everyman's Truth


98. Making it easy to be good

A successful society - meaning one which offers the greatest fulfillment to the greatest number - is likely to be one in which virtue is made easy. ... It must be made advantageous and easy for your average timid soul to act professionally, honestly and humanely in his daily life.


97. Moir-pattern racism

Racism is the twentieth century name for tribalism, and tribalism has been at the core of moral/social systems since our ancestor-apes had social troupes. If you're in you are human/simian, and if you are an outsider, then you are a threat to the group, tribe, class or race.


96. Pyramid Scheming

In a world that is too clever, too rational, and too unsympathetic, the way for the psyche to climb out of such awful responsibilities has always been to build a hierarchy. You must have someone above to carry the can, and someone below to kick in the head.


95. Corrosion

All ideologies are equally corrosive to the submissive mind.


94. Trust

You can trust even a good man just to the limits of his understanding. Beyond that it's pure faith, yours and his.


93. The History of Thought

After potentates and their minions had exhaused their health on wine, women and religion, it was fashionable to throw a quid to a handful of eggheads in the name of civilization. The potentates nowadays tend to be supplanted by tobacco companies, or paper empire builders in public ministries. The net result is the same: a tyranny of orthodoxies.


92. A Very Old Scam

Religion is the world's oldest multi-level marketing (MLM) racket.


91. The Self at a Distance

Those parts of themselves which men and women do not wish to take responsibility for, they project onto the clouds in the sky and call God.

Having constructed this dialectic with a distant relative, they can then take orders which a more sober self might find foolish, too wise for modesty, or even barbarous.


90. The Company Loyalist

Trans-national companies don't even pretend to be accountable to local national interests, but they have captured the ambitions of scoundrels whose grandfathers would have asked a common man to die for king and country.


89. The Pathologies of Culture

All cultures -- every one of them -- has features that are admirable, and all of them have social pathologies which cripple, maim and sometimes overwhelm them. By social pathology I mean an embedded feature of any cultural belief or practice which is ultimately destructive of both individuals and groups.


88. The Duel

The duel, not so long out of fashion in all its chauvinistic stupidity, was a prime token of the idea that love equals honour. To have two men fight to the death for you must be the ultimate obsequience to female ego. The codes of business and sporting practice are barely disguised replacements. Madonna's Material Girl, even in satire, is in direct line of descent from the demure wealthy ladies who would have their suitors hack each other to death. Sexual contests are primeval, and I suspect they still have much to do with war.


87. Unmanageable

As soon as a manager knows that you are beyond their competence to manage, unless they have a particularly generous spirit, you are a marked man.


86. Global Zombies

Globalization, a euphemism for international piracy in the context of much trans-national industry, has been identified as a new moral order by all major players of the political classes. This is an act of political cowardice. We faced almost the same issue a century ago, with the early bucaneers of the industrial revolution.


85. Hierarchy and the Mediocre

An obsession with hierarchy is the hallmark of defensive mediocrity the world over.


84. The Managerial Class

The Managerial Class has the same role of mindless enforcement as cops suppressing political protest on a street, or mafia hitmen preserving "the family's territory" from enroaching challenge.


83. Plain People

To ask plain people to do fancy things is to invite hpyocrisy, recrimination and illusions of achievement.


82. The Wages of Sin

There is almost no limit to what men and women will pay to indulge a vice, up to and including their own lives.

When it comes to supporting a virtue all generosity flees, and every last cent is counted as a cost.

Perhaps it follows that the only rational way to do good deeds is to fund them from the wages of sin.


81. Sex

A vastly overrated activity, wrapped in so much cultural tissue paper that we rarely get down to bare essentials. The bones of it are that the planet, whoever stands in for god nowadays, and spectators from the animal kingdom .. no longer need us to procreate in large numbers.

There is a physical compulsion to sexual release, probably best satisfied by the paired intercourse of two lovers. Lacking that, one quick wank a day and there goes romance for another twenty-four hours. End of story.

[related stories: The Connundrum of Men & Women / The Inside Track on Happiness /
Fountain of Youth / Letter to an Imaginary Lady .. ]


80. Politicians

A politician is someone who manipulates the flow of information for private gain. A statesman is one who manipulates it for perceived public good. Nevertheless, both are manipulators.


79. The Wellsprings of Policy

The mountain was made of paper by office glugs in response to a postcard from the Great Pandjundrum. The Great Panda had been on a two week study tour of the brothels of London, with a half day side trip to the Ministry of Education. And therefrom the next revolution in Education, being the abolition of Education, was solemnly declared to be best practice for all the young glugs in Ozzidom.


78. Reality

Reality is 40% matter and 60% imagination.

77. Melbourne

Melbourne is a city of women swathed in black. Glued like blowflies on the windows of coffee shops, rolling along the aisles of supermarkets, inflated like black plastic rubbish bags on the pavements, with disembodied pasty faces bobbing under umbrellas.


76. Dream without Meaning

She is an Indian child in a cheap cotton frock, perhaps nine years old. She is talking rationally, humanely, and her feet are burning. Her knees are burnt to stumps by the time I wake up.


75. The Paradox of Freedom

Action without limits, thought without boundaries .. leads to confusion rather than innovation. It is as if that wonderfully complex computer program wired into our brains needs a set of constants, clear parameters, before it can be put to effective use. Maybe that is why they invented god, to set the outer limits of human hubris.


74. Unfinished dreams

Life is a tapestry of unfinished dreams.


73. Pseudo scientific method

Parliamentary and bureaucratic process apes the processes of scientific enquiry. The difference of course is that the scientist works with a null hypothesis. That is, he seeks to disprove a proposition by testing it to destruction. However, the politician and burearucrat seek to bolster prejudiced or established decisions with the form, but not the substance of genuine enquiry.


72. Ideas

"Idea" as an artifact to be located in a "mind", is a cultural construct. For example, before the seventeenth century in Europe, "idea" was often a property of godhead, not of the individual;(Boulton 1991). A human being in this schema was a sort of radio transmitter and largely an automatom for the will of God (or occasionally for evil spirits). Such a belief is still widespread.


71. The Cynic and the Romantic

"A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing".
- Oscar Wilde

TM : A romantic knows the value of everything and the price of nothing.
Problem: who is the greater menace?


70. In Defence of Power Lust

It may even be that power lust is the narcotic that nature provides to prettify burdens of office which none would otherwise aspire to.


69. The Rise of One God

The unseen engulfing tyranny of a monstrous single god would prove to be transportable to almost all human societies, difficult to reason against, perilous to ridicule and a standing defence for patriarchial authority everywhere. The focus of religion had clearly moved from the need to balance parallel worlds of the natural and supernatural, to a requirement to propitiate a remote authority.


68. To Be a Teacher

I am a teacher. My business is improving other people's lives. If you tell me that my mission is outdated, that the client is not the individual but "industry", then I say to you that "industry" is a phantom. I have never sat a Mr Industry down with a smile and coaxed him to understand anything. My clients are men and women with limitations which would have been familiar to Aristotle or the Gautama Buddha.


67. Empires of the Mind

The trouble with living inside your own head is that you become conditioned to being master of the universe. Within this heroic sphere you body never betrays your mind, the cussedness and stupidity of other beings is always under control, you are never confronted with the possibility that you have got it wrong and the other guy has a better handle on what to do next.


66. Institutional Cowardice

Rambo is not about a hero in the sun, but a desperate projection for grovelling shoals of "team-spirited" employees and their mediocre managers who have never made a principled, independent decision in their lives. For two thousand European years, Rambo was a biblical David who fought a Goliath, and the snivelling mortals went once a week to refresh their fantasy world and fragile self-respect in a little chuch on the hill. Now they have video. It comes to the same thing.


65. Team Spirit

The motherhood template for a personnel officer in any interview nowadays requires candidates to genuflect to "team spirit". Having spat, crossed myself and said the alphabet backwards a few times when this comes up, I pause to wonder what it means.

Mostly, taking life experience as a template, team spirit means accepting whatever crap is poured on your head and slurping it up. It means sacrificing your own manifest self interest for the nebulous survival strategies of dim middle managers.


64. Lonely Courage

The courage that I admire is one which withstands subtle fears. This is the bravery of a fine mind facing hopeless odds. The spririt whose flame pierces every veil of deception and temptation, who seeing the full awfulness of what awaits the defiant and the easy rewards of complicity, still chooses to stand alone.


63. Executioners of the Creative Mind

The one thing which is anathema to the Platonic fixer, the Jesuitical conspirator, is that flawed brilliance which we find in the truly creative mind. Being mere mirrors themselves, possessing no radiant power of judgement or creation, they take now this fragment of a reflected idea, now that, as the premise to their amoral opportunism of the moment. They magnify the petty, the vindictive and vengeful, as well as the luminous, generous and warm, so that the proportions of truth are lost forever.


62. Bubble Cars

We all travel in bubble cars which seem from the driver's seat to travel the Milky Way. How fragile these personal bubbles are, even as bubbles within bubbles. For the very concept of, say, Australia is another bubble floating on the edge of a whirly-whirly in hyperspace. Go up thirty thousand feet in an aeroplane, look out the window at that moonscape on the way to Darwin, and ask yourself if this is really the territory of your spirit's possession.. ?


61. A Fear of Silence..

They must wait behind the shadows of old pains, in the corridors of despair we try to seldom visit, and beneath the facades of fear we will not look upon. But it only takes an unexpected quiet moment for loitering demons to emerge from the corners of our minds, and wreak their havock.


60. Whose Value?

The goal of every individual is to maximize their perceived value. Whose perception? What value? Ah, that's up for grabs.


59. Supermarket of the Spirits

There usen't to be much choice about it. You took the religion of your fathers or you burned, if not on the stake, at least in hell. That's a proposition still facing a large segment of the world's population in one form or another. Yet in the heartlands of our post-industrial cultures you can take your pick in the supermarket of the spirits....


58. The Wanting of a Shrew

The young woman encouraged me to talk. Every anecdote was a matter of admiration, every opinion was greeted with "absolutely". At last, becoming weary of my own virtue (an extensive topic), I sought to colour her own background with enquiry and a little mischievous irony. Her confidence dissipated, her personality dissolved. An opinion, wrung out, was qualified by what X and Z were thinking... I tried to let her down gently with benign neglect. How could she know that I was still looking for my shrew?


57. Journeys Towards Infinity

The most powerful motivator in my life has been a superstition whose possible truth I have felt unable to evade. The superstition was that if I made closing commitments, such as those towards a career, or raising children, then I would be defined for all time at one point in the spectrum of human conditions. The fear that I would lose the capacity to surprise Fate herself, by finding new abilities, achieving unachievable goals, by redifining myself in unsuspected ways.

I have always sought out borderlands of the spirit, the edges of cultures and nations, where one might slip beyond the known self and grow, even where growth seemed most desolate. Being never entirely complete, one could never entirely be captured, and might somehow escape on a journey towards infinity.


56. Voices

Listen first to all living things, and tend their needs.
Next listen to the wind in the trees, and respect its power.
If your hearing is still hollow and contentment brief, then, if you must, find a god or join a football club.


55. Decency & Religion

Religion is often a gross interference in the business of being a decent human being.


54. Mirroring

There are those who listen alertly, feeling that civilization requires them to act in an approved manner, and those who compulsively force others to match the appearance of their own values. A free spirit must somehow survive the pressure of both conspiracies.


53. Clever Nonsense

The largest percentage of work produced by clever people is ingenious nonsense. Luckily most of it never gets past the indifference of the public, or the enmity of rivals. That small part of ingenious creation which does engage the time and fortunes of others is by no means guaranteed, unfortunately, to be useful rather than mischievous. Those mediocre minds who have always dominated management and accepted taste are incapable of recognizing the intrinsic value of one complex proposition against another.


52. The Sock Rule

He who visits the laundromat will lose at least one sock.


51. Permission for Kindness

To give another permission for kindness is a gift without measure, for the petty extortions of daily living force all but the bravest into betraying their neighbours.


50. Take-Away Mental Diets

People who want to be told what to think are at least as thick on the ground at Melbourne University as they are on the Ford production line. What, after all, do perfectly conditioned, very clever lap-dogs have to do with the hunger and irreverence of a free ranging mind?


49. Managing Who or Managing What?

The first task of management is to increase the human capital of an organization. Each employee is a special kind of corporate share. As any investor knows the value of stock rests less in the number of shares than in the growth potential of existing shares. Management which is unable to multiply the growth of invested "human shares", or even contributes to the dimunition in value of these shares has failed utterly.


48. Where Angels Fear

I am eternally astounded by the blissful self-confidence of inadequate human beings. The most worrying of these creatures (who tend to be office girls, managers and professors of exotica) actually judge you on an index of pig ignorant self-confidence. Like drunken travellers on a mountain track, they sneer at the rider who is cold stone sober enough to look over the precipice and shudder at the prospect of a slip.


47. Power Play

Power play is about the predatory manipulation of rituals to which a significant number of people are addicted.


46. Competence

Competency is what you can do, isn't it? How about what you have to do, or would/wouldn't like to do, or might do or should do? Or what you can do today, but probably can't do tomorrow? Or what you could do if you had to, but don't have a good reason to do anyway?

Maybe competency is what you can do, but all those other things are what muck it up in the real world.


45. Whose Culture?

I try to empower retrenched garment workers with the wonders of nature's great questions, and the industrial revolution's march into a brave new world. I cajole them to read a page of something, and they think they have done "research". History is a story made on the TV news. They wait passively for the dole cheque and notice of the next "skill training course". It's cruel, the classroom games we play. They and I live in such different worlds, such different mental landscapes. We react to absolutely different meanings, yet in the end feel the same emotions. It is not reason but its consequences which we share. Culture, perhaps, is not what you feel, but how you arrive at those feelings.


44. A Culture of Corruption

A culture of corruption is never quite felt to be normal, even in the most corrupted communities. Decency is normal, but it is not sexy. Corruption for many has the illicit appeal of smoking, drinking strong liquor, or carrying a gun. These are all tokens of sexual bravado, cheap, shoddy tokens, but kitch always has a wide appeal. The culture of corruption is nutured by a mass psychosis of arrested social development. The whisper is that you are not really an adult until you are compromised.


43. Accidental Lives

Most individuals live in a miasma of confused impressions, momentary fragments of organization, accidental relationships and unplanned outcomes. You can regiment them into an army, whereupon a few will consider themselves progressed. You can stack them into the hierarchy of a company or department, have them filling boxes or filling forms, whereupon the majority will consider themselves vitally employed. What you cannot do is to let them loose in the cavernous spaces of creative thought. Give them leave to invent the wheel and they will turn to drink.


42. Writing

A writer externalizes internal conversations. Is is true, I wonder, that those who never write have nothing to say to themselves?


41. Creative Beauty

We learn to creative depth only that in which we find beauty.


40. The Seeds of Destruction

Every successful community carries within it cultural pathologies which, given the right conditions for growth, will errupt like hormone-fed thistles and strangle the parent. Those pathologies are, more often than not, official virtues in the dogma of the political elite.


39. Complexity

Finding a congenial level of complexity best describes the quest for contentment. The tolerance for complexity defines us as elements of a certain weight, and mismatched by simplicity or cleverness we quickly become bored.


38. Teacher

Most who take the name of "teacher" are d-grade actors mouthing the words of scripts which neither they nor their directors nor their charges understand.


37. Why Democracy?

Democracy is not really most useful for plumbing the wisdom of the masses. Rather, democracy is the best known tool for bridling the inhumanity and arrogance, the hubris, the sheer ignorance of leaders.


36. Democracy's Competitors

Democracy's main competition is not autocracy as such. The ungoverned tyrant is merely a criminal with more guns than anyone else. Rather, democracy's contest is with the ethereal authority of dogma: the omnipresent spectre of some god and its agents, the overriding dictum of a political tract like communism, national socialism, environmentalism, and so on. This enemy, this dogma, is a shape changer and parasite, apt to infect the most genial of hosts for the worthiest of reasons. The free spirit, judging each issue on merit, will be attacked from every camp as an opportunist. Wear that as a badge of honour. We have advanced far by seizing opportunities where the dead hand of dogma would have strangled the messenger.


35. Knowledge

Knowledge is an accident caught out of the corner of the eye. Knowledge is a pattern of leaves seen suddenly, the collision of two chance remarks, the brush of a hand that plumbs all emotion. Knowledge is a swift observation in a twenty cent novel, a new taste of fruit, a dream that is strangely important, a chance that was never looked for.


34. Fascism by any other name

A fascist state is a communist state that has privatized some of the crime.


33. Failure

If you have never failed, then you have never tested the door locks and bars on your mental cage. You are a simpleton.

I measure men and women by their style in failure. Does she throw a tantrum, retreat to astrology and cupie dolls, or blame her mother? Does he start a fight, get an ulcer or buy a Porche on time payment to hide the pain?

Failure is a whiff of mortality, a healthy antidote to hubris. Stalk failure with a curious eye, give it a poke, turn it over and look for its soft underbelly. If the failure is a dynamited bridge, then get off the catwalk fast, and do a cool calculation on the cost of rebuilding. If the failure is a knife in the dark, turn on the light and put up a spirited fight. If the track is mined with boobytraps, cut another path through the bush. If your hand shakes, your bones crack, your brain goes to mush or your heart threatens to stop, then go for a long walk in the fresh air, eat a hearty meal and laugh at an ant's very serious expedition up a treetrunk.


32. Compassion

Compassion is finding the strength to give when nobody is applauding. It is kindness without a tax deduction. The compassionate heart holds that giving life is always a braver act than stealing it.

Compassion surprises every base instinct, which having been cheated, conspire to whisper in the giver's ear that he is a wonderful chap, a candidate for sainthood in the very least. The only sure cure for this kind of vanity is to kill a cat, forget your wife's birthday or swear at the tram conductor.


31. Power Lust

Power is a clammy verb in noun's clothing, a debilitating state of delusion, a wraith with many eager servants but no master.


30. Hypocrisy

The level of hypocrisy endemic in a culture is always directly proportional to the level of religious or ideological fervour expected of the public.


29. On being boring

A boring fellow prefers running and never watches TV. He doesn't know a cricket score from a zodiac chart, but can tell you India's population to three decimal places. A boring man will talk about the Kurdish rebellion on the Iraqi border, the price of coffee in Tokyo, or a hydrogen engine he has heard about in Brazil. On the other hand, he hasn't noticed your diamond ear ring, didn't respond when you mentioned the Zigwibble rock group and actually yawns when you try to say something harmless about the weather. In other words, he's a dork, and you can't imagine anyone who would want to spend an hour in his company. Then he has the cheek to tell someone that you are boring!


28. History and Civilization

History for the history books is brewed from a toxic addiction to power. This poison is always newsworthy to the chaps and sexy for the ladies. Civilization, on the other hand, is made by those who are actually competent, compassionate and courageous.


27. Fatal Attraction

Women don't fuck nice guys. As a species they are biologically programmed to feed and breed with the bastard who is going to claw his way to the top of the horde. Therefore, while there are women there will always be a roaring trade in the killer instinct, there will always be wars.

I make these observations sadly, as a compulsive nice guy, with nearly fifty years of watching what women do, as opposed to what they say.

So how do the nice guys preserve their recessive genes in the population? Mostly by guile. They buy studded belts and go to heavy metal concerts for a couple of years to obtain advanced qualifications in insensitivity. Luckily, as the deceived wives lose their waistlines a few years later, these pseudo Gengis Khans trade their whipping leathers for cardigans and bring up the kids. The women, in a rage of frustrated sexuality, have to settle for breeding pit bull terriers and going to male strip shows in the Leagues Club on Tuesday nights.


26. The Criminal State

Definition: A criminal state is one in which the resources of the state are used to attack the interests, rights or welfare of private individuals in order to advance the personal interests of agents acting for that state. The criminality of personal advancement by an agent is sustained wherever it can be shown that benefit accruing to the agent exceeded benefit accruing to the community from his actions. "Benefit" is a matter for judgement by all affected parties, and might include, for example, the indulgence of personal revenge or sadism, as well as more conventional material advantage.

Proposition: By the defined criterion, all nation states are in some degree criminal organizations.


a) It is a natural right of any individual to oppose and evade the criminal elements of a nation state, however they are manifested.

b) It is a natural tendency of human populations to seek domicile in those states which offer the least degree of criminal interference in their lives.

c) As a geopolitical consequence of a) and b), is in the strong national interest of relatively honest states to seek the reform of relatively criminalized states.


25. Licence to kill

Political aspirants are disproportionately a class of people who crave the right to kill


24. Dangerous Satires

People will kill for their absurdities. As an innocent youth I mistook satire as a comment on things past. Ha. It's a nervous twitch at things to come.


23. Ideology is a Trojan Horse

Every culture has some pathological characteristics, and every ideology (amongst which I count religions), no matter how benign its canon, finally becomes a vehicle for sanctifying those pathological characteristics. An ideology is a doorway into hearts and minds, and through that doorway, once opened, the agents of power and opression will always travel.


22. Fickle woman

While a woman thinks she can seduce a man, as a fantasy game in her mind, every depth of friendship is possible. When she despairs of your sensual interest, betrayal is almost certain. She will sell her spent dream for a song to the first passing scoundrel.


21. Instant distrust

I have a wonderful talent for inspiring instant distrust in anyone who is seriously ambitious.


20. Communities of Intelligence

On a Saturday I went to the South Stree Cinema. A theatre full of poor goblins, girls with vacant stares under the mascara, and young toughs with sylized swaggers; their fathers had that beaten stoop which comes from years of dull work and the betrayal of dreams. The brave goodie won and got the girl; the baddie had his head knocked off. The goblins clapped and bought more popcorn.

If I go to another part of town the miasma of incoherence lifts, at least at corners, and in different ways in different locales. They might be self-obsessed bohemians, or brushed-down yuppies, or real estate agents, or businessmen with ulcers, but their houses and shops and the air that they breathe are all resonant with the possibilities of thinking beings. Somewhere deep in their heart of hearts they all know about the goblins, govern their lives by the knowledge. The quality of our civilization finally derives from their varied reactions. Some will wall out the masses with money and a safe postcode, some will arm themselves with political deceptions, some will exploit and some, eternally optimistic, will strive to raise all men and women to economic or social equality.


19. Feminism

What do I think of feminism? If you ask me about a basic-level issue like equal pay for equal work, then you have my wholehearted endorsement. If you are talking about some superordinate, nebulous thing like the Feminist Movement, then I think that it is mostly ideological claptrap, and a career vehicle for middle-class opportunists.


18. The honest primitive

What most "traditional indigenes" finally want in a television age is a television set. In fancy words, they want empowerment to build a new cultural home.


17. Love??

Love? I've heard rumours about that, but never met it. I figure it belongs to a certain class of fable along with Santa Clause, God and the Tooth Fairy.


16. Guns

Once a small number of muscle-bound thugs would try to dominate their village with their fists.

Now an infinitely larger number of moral and physical weaklings seek to dominate their village and the world with guns. Guns have equalized the opportunity for every mean spirit to wreak havock ....


15. Love or oblivion?

"Although I have the gift of prophecy
And understand all things,
If I have no love
Nothing do I have."

Lyric from the film, Three Colours Blue

I sometimes think that the defining ambivalence of our culture is a wish that the lyric were true, and the fear that it might be. Who doesn't dream of love, meaning perhaps the best of all possible worlds at no personal cost, no demand to give up the freedoms we savour; the comfort of a partner who is always there, matching our moods, never sick, never disagreeable.. How we fear that such an idyll might never come to pass, and that we should return to dust as insignificantly and unmourned as we arrived. So love rates along with religion as a cultural conspiracy to keep at bay the final, lonely confrontation with death.


14. In contempt of religion

From the earliest times religion and moral philosophy have been used as vehicles for persuasion, equally by good people and by scoundrels. The good would have been good with or without religion. The scoundrels have been given an impenetrable cover for their hypocrisy. Since the corruptible always outnumber the fair-minded in governments and instrumentalities of power by a wide margin, it is scarcely surprising that the net effect of religion has been a negative one.


13. Of ideology and control


An ideology is a set of ideas for governing values, decisions and actions. With a following of one, an ideology is relatively harmless. Where two are believers, one man invariably has power over the other. As a cult for millions, the ideology will sway and drive them like a herd of cattle, and he who weilds the dogma weilds the whip.


12. Innocence and government

All governments without exception are, were and forever will be criminal organizations in some degree. It cannot be otherwise since a government is a mighty enterprise, carrying the hopes, dreams, illusions, ambitions and values of countless individuals.


11. Cultural Pathologies

For a long time it has seemed self-evident to me that cultures, like individuals, suffer from pathologies. We could say in fact that all cultures have tendencies (different for each culture) which when taken to an extreme, result in large scale social dysfunction.


10. The Heart of the Matter

To solve a conundrum, argue in contrastive directions. Where the lines of inference intersect we can identify a core of propositions, facts or conclusions.
(.. derived from the film, The Pelican Brief)


9. Prescription for living

Find out what you are good at.
Decide what you really like doing.
Figure out how to make a living at one of the above.

- student at Northern Rivers CAE, 1983


8. Wry

There is a sacrament wherever wry men meet. - [TM, The Last Cockatoo, 1988]


7. Marriageable Age

Like locusts who'd munched their way
Through rich pastures of indulgence,
The horde sighed.
A mighty rustling it was, a gloss of plumage,
A perfumed tide of young things
Who cast around for a male
To feed and breed with.

[TM, Silver Screen, 1988]


6. Ghost Talk

My days are populated with ghosts;
I am their only medium of exchange.

[TM, The Painted Path, 1988].


5. Haven

Heather, dashed yellow, sky bright
Falling blue, hill slips faced with moss,
Thin wooden houses like glued matchboxes
Stacked in crooked tiers to applaud
Their men in from the sea, and now
Her giant engines have dropped low
To a growl, the liner slips to haven.

[TM, The Imigre, 1988]


4. Flirting

Flirting is the weapon with which a woman stakes out her territory and secures her self respect. By proving that she still has the power to draw attention and induce men to compete for her favour she establishes a kind of personal validation that concurs with her biological role.


3. First doubt

Dark hair falling about her bright eyes,
Waiting for a kiss,
And the first pain of doubt in her glance..

[TM, Silver Screen, 1988]


2. Cleen teeth

Funny, isn't it, how even dangerous men clean their teeth after dinner.

[TM, Wide Worlds, 1988]


1. Blow us away

Blow us away, my stormtrooper of the army of dreams,
Lay us out in rows to moulder.
Who will be left in this Valhalla of brave poses
To wash the dishes, comrade,
When the moon sets over the crimson grass?

[TM, Firepower, 1988]


writing & photography on this site is
   copyrighted © Thorold (Thor) May 2005
   all rights reserved,

thormay AT  

The Passionate Skeptic 
[and what this website stands for ..]

Doubt well, do what you can, then let it be. Presidents, priests, wage slaves, hustlers, men and women, kids, we all live by the grace of those we love to despise...

I don't care what you believe in, so long as you don't believe in it too strongly. A belief is a weapon in the armoury of your heart, and its razor edge will murder the innocent. The ice, the fire of your passion will seduce mundane men and women. Your clarity will excite respect. And the first demagogue who comes along with a key to your heart's armoury will wrest the weapon from your moral grasp. The first cause which wears the colours of your belief will enlist you as a soldier in ravaging crusades. Peace friend. Keep your passion to doubt with. Our civilization is a simple matter of live and let live, of giving dreams a go, but stepping back with a wry smile when we get it wrong. Let the fundamentalists perish in their own pillars of fire. Spare a dollar for the living, and have a nice day. 

Thor @1 November 1991

Aphorisms are supposed to be crisp and wise. Hmm, there is duplicity in simplicity, and turmoil in quietetude .. but the unlucky Chinese actress who uttered those words was sent to a prison camp by Mao Zedong's bad, mad wife. So take care. Thor's aphorisms aren't always, or even often wise, but you can clean your teeth on them, and then decide whether to swallow. They aren't always crisp either. That comes from being a sludge, not Oscar Wilde. In fact, a lot of the squeaks and squiggles below are cut down versions of longer arguments that your can find in Notes To Myself from The Bottom of theWorld, The Atheist's Catechism, and even from an autobiography in rough verse, The Wrong Address. Maybe all an aphorism reveals is it's author's mind. Looking at this stuff, I don't always admire what I see, but there comes a time when you stop apologising for whoever you happen to be. Enjoy.

©2005 Thor May