Theory Teacher's Blog

Aphorism #2

A little over a month ago [here], I thought I might experiment around with writing aphorisms. And as you can see if you look over at the list of categories on the side of your screen, I even made a separate category just for aphorisms, right above some other categories such as feminism, finance, food, global, etc. But I never got around to writing any more aphorisms until today. It’s harder than I thought. The writer James Geary mentions in his book about the history of the aphorism, which he discussed in an interview on NPR [here], that Mark Twain once defined aphorism as “a minimum of sound to a maximum of sense.” Since I originally created this blog as part of my classes on theory and culture, I speculated that aphorisms are like theory distilled into a short, pithy sentence or two. Anyway, here it is, my aphorism #2:

There is no real freedom without irony and laughter, for it is through the window of irony that we see how we are not free, ha ha.

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February 27, 2011 Posted by | aphorisms | Leave a comment

Aphorism #1

Since today marks the third anniversary of my blog, I’ve decided to do something new and experimental by adding a new category: aphorisms. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word aphorism comes from the Greek meaning definition or distinction. In English usage, it usually means “a short pithy sentence containing a truth of general import.” Some of America’s most famous aphorisms first appeared in Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack way back in the 18th century. Another way of thinking about it is that an aphorism is theory distilled down to a single sentence or maxim. And still another way of thinking about it is that maybe I’m just too dang lazy or busy or tired to write a real blog post with some actual thought supported by actual evidence, so I’m just going to whip out a pithy remark and hope it sounds somewhat smart…. So, here it goes, my first attempt at an aphorism.

Cynicism is what young people put on to look older and wiser than they are; idealism is what old people put on to look younger and wiser than they are.

So that’s it…. Feel free to discuss, mock, muse upon….

All the preliminary buildup probably spoiled the effect…. Darn.

January 13, 2011 Posted by | aphorisms | 6 Comments