The response to the last item here was generally negative, which should surprise no one, since it was a generally negative sort of piece. It did, however, accurately reflect the mood of the moment, somewhere between down and despondent, a territory I know rather well but hesitate to describe in too much detail. And it was, in essence, a rather long list of doubts, which begs the question: "So what do you believe in?" (Or, for that matter, "In what do you believe?") The facile answer these days is to fall back on the words of Crash Davis, but I remind you (and myself) that at no point did he ever have any kind of shot at Annie Savoy.
That said, I believe the following:
- I believe that all four seasons are equally necessary, but spring is the one to cherish.
- I believe that while business failures are inevitably attributed to bad luck or poor timing or the actions of the Federal Reserve or some other external factor, the actual cause is usually self-indulgent, incompetent management.
- I believe that respect for one another's differences is far more useful to a relationship than having no differences at all.
- I believe that most designs for Utopia give mankind credit for way too much intelligence.
- I believe that the phrase "the most beautiful woman in the world" does not, in and of itself, imply a dress size.
- I believe that the usefulness of a religion is inversely proportional to its specificity.
- I believe that to the extent science encourages us to expect the possibility of human immortality, it does us a disservice.
- I believe that most efforts to protect children from [fill in name of presumed bad influence] are in reality efforts to protect adults from embarrassment.
- I believe that insisting on a pedigree for your pet is even less useful than insisting on a pedigree for your lover.
- I believe that even our most tolerant folk have occasional lapses into intolerance, which they are quick to deny.
- I believe that if at first you don't succeed, you can probably find a lawyer to take your case.
- I believe that there are some people you never get over no matter how many subsequent relationships you may have.
- I believe that certain meals justify the indigestion.
- I believe that a person in power who expects his tuchas to be kissed is most likely sitting in the wrong office.
- I believe that the proliferation of ostensible news outlets in recent years has done little or nothing to inform, but a great deal to enrage, the citizenry.
- I believe that the most pertinent musical question of the last forty years is "Will you love me tomorrow?"
- And I believe that for every drop of rain that falls, my car gets dirtier.
1 December 2000