There are seven candidates for the post of vice-president of human resources.

The first upon first blush is quite the people person, and is so lively and excited by each person she meets that you might fear that she is giving herself to her job with too much emotionality.  Upon deeper inspection though you realize that this is a mask she adopts from fear, if you look in her eyes in unguarded moments you realize her only wish from her fellow human-beings is to be let alone, and she is as profoundly uninterested in humanity as a rock or a pond.

The second claims to be motivated by a wish for social justice, but these are simply phrases she learned by rote.

The third will be happy to admit to being boring; but he hides the fact that this boredom comes from sadism; angry at having his fellows inflicted upon him he resolved at an early age to give no pleasure to anyone.

The fourth claims to be ashamed of his failings.  You would think that beneath this shame is perhaps pride, but the situation is far worse — beneath the shame is simply inertia, a mindless parroting of the slogans of others.

The fifth has a nervous aesthetic temperament but is entranced by only the filthiest aspects of his own personality; no other meat is as sweet to his debauched tongue.  Sadly even his worst imagined crimes and most sordid fantasies are entirely unoriginal.

The sixth has no idea the depth of his dishonesty: he knows his words are lies, but is unaware that his every feeling, every gesture, every breath, and even the motions of his internal organs all have a note that rings false.

The seventh is quite simply a JIVE-ASS TURKEY!

These are the seven candidates for the post of vice-president of human resources.



(after  F. Kafka)




Unclear People

My son,


There are times when you will meet a man or woman be unable to form a clear idea of them in their mind.  And sometimes the fault will be with you.  Your powers of mental acuity will be too weak to resolve that person, be it man or woman, into a clear image.  In such case you should labor to correct this human myopia and discern clearly the person with whom you deal.  Perhaps the differences between their courage and their cowardice, their sincerity and their hypocrisy, their joy and sorrow are there, but take a precise and, to you, unexpected configuration.  You may have to enter into them, as into a dimly lit cave, until your eyes adjust.

But there are other people who are themselves intrinsically unclear.  Perhaps they are two people sharing a body, one sensitive and spiritual, the other coarse and addicted to the pleasures of table and social approbation, and these two people resolve into no distinct image but instead are super-imposed, as in a shmear of cream-cheese on a bagel.  This is just one example.  Perhaps their thoughts are not thoughts but simply shimmering tendencies.  Perhaps they have no distinctness, but are simply an agglomeration of other men’s personalities, whom they have met or seen on television.  Perhaps they are simply a fog.  In that case do not labor to see them clearly.  They themselves are unclear.  If you squint to see them clearly, you squint in vain, and purchase, for your squinting, only Headache.

My son, endeavor to know the difference between these two sorts of men!


Excerpt from the Secret Diary of Hillary Clinton

Today I looked at the moss growing on the old tree by the farm and wondered, is my true name not moss?  For I am not as strong as the tree, or as utile as the farm, but I am more ancient than either, humble, and harder to destroy.  And yet I feel I am in contact with twin immensities — the eternity of the already elapsed, and the eternity of what is till to be.  But what am I?  An infinitesimal membrane stretched tight between these two eternities.  And yet, despite all this, lurking behind all my metaphors is the single beat, fragile, erring and unavoidable…my womanly heart.


Lies About Bomolfeo

Bomolfeo’s lips are named Glome and Glammer

Bomolfeo can speak the language of a hammer

When you forget a thought Bomolfeo snuck in and took it

He’ll never queen a pawn he’ll only rook it

When Bomolfeo was  lad he hid in a ditch

And learned the secret named of Scree the witch

And if a good thing happens ever to you and me

He’ll turn it sour by calling on Scree.

–The Young Gentleman’s Guide to Truth an Falsehood and the Discerning of the Difference Betwixt, Sweet Phoenix Publishing, Shanghai 1901


Brutal Candor

-Can I tell you what I think of you in all candor?

-No.  Please give it to me wrapped up so as to spare my feelings.

-Okay.  You are a human worm, sexually unattractive, ethically compromised, and withal loathsome.

-okay.  But what would you have said if you were speaking in all candor?

-You don’t get to know.



Whenever something horrible happens in the news, commenters report that they are shocked. They should state what their beliefs about human nature are that cause them to be shocked. Perhaps these views are incorrect, and if they revise them they will be shocked less often.


Juniper the Blueberry Fairy

Juniper the Blueberry Fairy waited outside the beech tree for a meeting with Bizzlebam the Berry Fairy to discuss something of great importance.  Razzle the Raspberry Fairy had insulted her.  It had been at a meeting of the blue and red berry fairies that had been convened by Glumblegloof the Gooseberry Fairy to discuss incursions by the squirrels from across the river that had increasingly become more and more frequent, ever since the unfortunate events at the Dormouse’s wedding to Old Vole of Vole Knoll, who had been released after a two winters sleep from an enchantment that had been cast by a mysterious group of shrews and hedgehogs, who had, until recently, been considered a fiction, until certain consultations entered into by Rinky the Turtle and his good friends Oliver the Otter and Sam the Snake had revealed that what had once been thought nothing but a tale to amuse children, and was, namely, the contention that certain scratches and marks to be found at the exposed roots of carrots and turnips was in fact, nothing but random but actually a record, left by certain wise snow geese from seventy summers ago, the deciphering of which provided a series of methods for summoning the hordes of bees and wasps from a distant glen to bring havoc to the good denies of juniper berry’s woods; nevertheless despite these tidings, or in fact because of them, Razzle the Raspberry fairy had seen fit to upset her buttercup brimming with morning dew and hurl it under her face accompanied the most malign insults and dire imprecations, an act so impolitic, and so against the character of a cautious and diplomatic fairy that numerous theories for this behavior contended within good Juniper’s mind, including that some sprite or elf or pixie had laid a grammarie upon the wits of Razzle, or perhaps that it seemed in Razzle’s interest to cause a deliberate affront, the upshot of which would be that if a counsel of berry fairies was convened in order to address the matter of the wasps, and if Juniper proposed a mission of peace-making to the shrews, Razzle would be able to state an open opposition against this mission, without raising any question of an ulterior motive amongst the turtles, the owls, or the forest chickens, or their concomitant fairy guardians, being able to excuse such enmity on the grounds of bad blood resulting from this affront.