Short Thoughts in Two Parts

fools gold standing miner

Reflecting on the New Year:

I’m really bad about saying yes. When I pick up the phone and talk to the guy who can make a really cool racing part and then decline the opportunity because I want to save money for delux dry-cleaning, I’m saying no when I should say yes. When I turn down the opportunity to go into the hills, hear the cicadas and the toads and watch the squirrels crapping delicately in the forest because I’m too busy finding pound cake for the benefit of people I don’t particularly like, I’m saying no when I should say yes. When the girlfriend asks me to go purse shopping instead of consoling an barely remembered acquaintance, I say no when I really should say yes.

I’m really bad about saying no. When the boss man asks me to sacrifice a weekend to translate 80 pages of unreadable business jargon into English and says “don’t worry about the money, I’ll take care of you,” I’m saying yes when I should say hell the fuck no. When the program manager interprets my ability to put out fires as an unlimited license to put me in chaotic situations with no support, I really should start saying no.

2015 is the year of enlightened adolescence – 30 year old sports cars that leak oil, a Mohawk if I damn well feel like it and pickup basketball. It’s the year where I stop trusting untrustworthy people to reward me for good deeds. It’s the year when I let people crash and burn and say “sorry, I’m going to a picnic.” It’s the year when “I don’t want to” pisses all over “we really think you should.”


Arrows and Maxims

I accept that, in the cosmic sense, I don’t know Jack.

I accept that, in all the other senses, I barely know Jack, and his name might really be Fred.

I accept the spilled marbles and embrace those who, smiling, arrange them anew.

I accept the limits of empiricism and the beauty of a well-timed fart joke.

I accept the frailty of my friends, my family, myself.

I accept the grinding power of accounting so long as it displaces the stench of wasted humanity.

I accept death, as it defines life.

I oppose mysticism, the throwing up of one’s hands in the face of the unknowable.

I oppose certainty, the throwing up of one’s fists in the face of the unknowable.

I oppose consensus, preferring “yeah but.”

I oppose those who attempt to charge the universe interest – those who believe themselves owed rights, happiness, fairness or love.

I oppose victimhood because to be weak is to be invisible and I am so afraid of that.

I oppose ease, knowing the virtue of a bloody nose and the decay of unopened Christmas presents.

I oppose the void, as it swallows life.

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For customers living in East Asia.



  1. Ben, you must be as old as me (ignore the photo). There comes a time when enough is enough. I have just added the following signature to my emails. Maybe you should too.

    “There comes a time when every normal man is tempted to spit on his hands, haul up the black flag and begin slitting throats.” – H.L. Mencken

    1. Hahaha, yeah, I’ve been there. Actually, black flag terrorism against my fellow man is a pretty good description of my early twenties. I think, perhaps, I’ve gone too far in the other direction.

  2. Jeez, don’t I wish I could erase your name as author of this post and replace it with mine.

    My last New year’s resolution, made some five or so years ago, was simply, “I shall no longer suffer fools lightly.”

    1. Don’t erase my name, but you’re certainly welcome to the rest. 😉

  3. A post like this one screams for a later update about how things are going with your new personal policy.
    In other news, when I had my epiphany about the same things, I discovered Libertarianism. Now, I can rail against the combined machinery of big government and big business that keeps all of us dancing like trained puppets.
    Same feelings but channeled and directed at different things.
    More power to you Ben and Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Ernesto,

      I’ll definitely have to update this post later. 🙂

  4. Say Yes. And No. Just not in answer to the same question. Or wait, maybe that works too.

    1. Definitely maybe. 😉

  5. “I accept the limits of empiricism and the beauty of a well-timed fart joke.” I don’t know what these two things have to do with each other, but it works!

    Sort of curious as to why you should say yes to purse shopping. Not that consoling a barely remembered acquaintance is so great, but purse shopping?

    1. Nothing in common, really, but I was trying to establish a rhythm and break up a string of too-serious stuff with a joke. 😉

      I actually kind of like purse shopping with the gf … 😛

      1. Well I’m sure she appreciates that!

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