Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Humbug Variations

“My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins,” said (methinks) Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Leave aside that I have often cited John Locke as the author of this witticism; I am more interested in humbug variations. To wit:

As recently announced on Facebook, and this in response to my needing-a-diaper-change two year-old: your right to stink your stink ends where my nose begins.

Speaking of stinkers: your right to a perfect world ends where my imperfection begins.

And thus also: your right to a perfect world ends where your imperfection begins.

Your identification of a perfect religion ends well before it begins to convince many others

And thus also: your right to persuade others of the perfect religion ends where their resistance begins.

Your right to hand out pamphlets, knock on doors, and offer unrequested prayers is matched by others’ right to say ‘get lost,’ ‘the baby’s sleeping,’ and ‘tell-da big guy I say yo.’ Your right to persist ends when they say it ends.

Your right to be wrong (by denying evolution, for example) ends where the education of my child begins; your right to be right (by proclaiming your revealed truth, say) ends there also. So let’s offer a curriculum that gives students skills, knowledge, and power.

Your right to deny global warming ends when my morning cereal boils before it enters the microwave.

Your right to be mean-spirited begins with your acceptance of isolation and your inability to believe, and ends when your isolation and loss of faith confine others and construe them falsely.

So this is not 30 variations. Your right to write variations, so long as they do no harm, never ends. Add some in the comments….

1 comment:

  1. To Starbucks: Your right to sell me historical coffee ends when you tip the machine forward to fill my cup.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...