No Recipes Today, Alas

Today, dear reader, you find me frustrated that in these days of permanent turbo-democracy even a natural disaster becomes a question for the pollsters and rent-an-opinions. Apparently Washington is now the city that never sleeps.

This humble offering is an observation that’s been gathering dust somewhere in my head, hitherto only half-confronted and half-expressed. In truth, this one probably could have done with me breaking my ‘no rewrites’ rule. We live and learn.


Suit You, Sir
We, the teeming hordes of the semi-trained and semi-educated,
Learn quite early on to go through life cocooned in protective cloaks of inferiority.


What exactly are they, we, hiding from?
There’s a million and one things
Worth protecting ourselves from,
But it seems the one we fear most of all
Is us.

Our own judgments,
Our too-faint praises and too-harsh criticisms,
Those are the ones that stick.

We do care what the next man thinks,
But, for once, let’s not kid ourselves:
We clothe ourselves so not to deny our shame to him, but to hide it from us.
After all, you can’t insult me if I’ve insulted myself first.

These cloaks are damned uncomfortable.
But we don’t half look good in them.


Your quote apropos of nothing for today comes from the mighty pen of Carl Sagan. No, not the one about apple pie.

‘The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses.’
Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science


One thought on “No Recipes Today, Alas

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