R.I.P. Conventional Wisdom
1. All’s well that ends well.
All’s well that ends – period. Who needs more homework assignments in those boring history textbooks, a rehash of the sordid details of a conflictive family life before the divorce became final, and the syndicated reruns of those unfunny sitcoms with the canned laughter and applause?
2. And they all lived happily ever after.
They don’t give lobotomies anymore do they? Today, kids are too hip to believe this nonsense! This doesn’t happen in the soaps, in the movies, nor even in Heaven. Only in your dreams.
3. The ends justify the means.
This is the “conventional wisdom” of the despots, the Mafia, the jaded CEOs of “Big Business” and unrestrained monopolies, the managers of credit card companies who charge excessive late fees, the lawyers who win the large settlements for their injured clients, the doctors who collect for “less than successful” procedures, and the interrogators of the prisoners of war. (Only you can put an end to such nonsense!)
4. Neither a borrower nor a lender be. ( Shakespeare.)
400 years ago when Bill wrote that, he didn’t foresee zero interest APR financing for durable goods, plastic credit cards, identity theft, the elimination of debtors’ prisons, easy bankruptcy, and greedy credit institutions whose loses would become tax deductible. Nor modern conspicuous consumption.
5. Charity begins at home.
Whose home? What charity are we talking about? The one where the majority of the donations are used to pay for the gifts to the contributors, the come-ons, the quarterly magazines, and the salaries and fringe benefits of the executives and solicitors? Remember, not all contributions are tax deductible, but who’s checking? Not the IRS, apparently.
6. Variety is the spice of life.
Diversity is what spices up the political life on liberal university campuses. But don’t use that argument with a spouse who just caught you philandering.
7. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Who uses baskets today? Eggs are put into Petri dishes and stored in an ice box, aren’t they? Besides, men don’t have eggs, and what they do have are put in a safe place, I’m sure.
8. Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies.
This has been abbreviated to: “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” However, that is not a very clear instruction. It is very modern and very military, and it is sound advice if you are conducting a job interview. “Whatever” is a popular evasive answer nowadays, especially if you are asked a tough question.
9. You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.
You are damned if you go to war and spend a lot of money without winning a decisive victory. You are damned if you stay home and demonstrate for a tumultuous peace. You are damned if you trust anyone. And you are doubled damned if you are a mugwump hoping for a third party.
10. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Unfortunately, solutions bring unintended consequences, so whether you are part of the solution or part of the problem is inconsequential. Solutions are usually temporary means to uncertain ends that only sincere politicians in our just democracy are able to fix when they finally get around to it, right?
11. Half a loaf is better than no bread at all.
Unless you are one of the overweight Americans. This famous political solution was supposedly invented by King Solomon when he suggested that two harlots split a live baby in two and be happy with half a child. Half an abortion is called what?
12. There is no such thing as a “free” lunch.
Don’t tell that to the executives and salesmen who take subordinates and customers out to lunch. The IRS in their unlimited wisdom have decided that half the cost of a meal is tax deductible and the other half is not. For those guests enjoying the lunch and their favorite beverage, everything is free. The company pays.
If you are aware of other items of false conventional wisdom, take immediate action to expose them as I have done.