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New Fundamental Truths
© Jerry Buchmeyer, 1981

Brothers and Sisters, this is Serious!
Civilization, as we know it, faces critical times, indeed!! Old values have crumbled; moral degradation abounds; filth is rampant; drugs and lewd music and sexual "freedom" pollute the very fabric of our lives: and people next to me at the movies continue to talk. Truly, yes truly, the apocalypse draws nigh.

Why? I'II tell you why: our cherished fundamental Truths are no longer valid. Violent changes wrought by the last two decades have proven them meaningless, even false. Truths we held so dear are gone. And, to salvage civilization (as we know it), they must be replaced without delay - so, in the true Spirit of Public Good et cetera presents a few much-needed, if not long-awaited, New Fundamental Truths.(1)

Life
The other line moves faster. And don't try to change lines; the one you were in originally will then move faster (Ettore's Observation) ... No matter which way you bicycle, it's uphill and against the wind ...When you're late getting to the airport, your plane will be on time; when you're early, your plane will be delayed ... If it's good, they'll stop making it (Herblock's Law) ... A rumor will travel fastest to the place where it will cause the greatest harm (Agrast's Axiom)... Anytime you get a mouthful of hot soup, the next thing you do will be wrong.

Civilization (As We Know It)
Pure drivel on television tends to drive off ordinary drivel (Kitman's Law) ... Winners tell funny stories; losers holler "deal" ... Misery no longer loves company; nowadays, it insists upon it ... There is always one more SOB than you counted on (Kopcha's Rule) Whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed (The Law of Probable Dispersal) ... Trust everybody but always cut the cards (Finley Peter Dunne's Credo).(2)

Success & Fools
If you are attempting the impossible, you will fail... You can't win them all, but you sure can lose them all...You win some, you lose some, some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all (Child's Lament) ... If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.(3) Fools rush in where fools have been before (Van Roy's Rumination) ... Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will want to use it(G.B. Shaw's Principle)...it is impossible to make anything fool proof, because fools are so ingenious (Murphy's 11th Law).

Truth, Plumbing & Philosophy
Truth is plural and contingent (Knowles' Canon) ... For every credibility gap, there is a gullibility fill (Symington's Law) ... Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he just picks himself up and stumbles on (Churchill's Commentary) ... I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to tell such lies (Preston's Postulate). The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is an humble activity--but which tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity-will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. (Gardner's Rule of Civilization, as he knows it.)

Practicing Law
Treat the client like a mushroom; keep him in the dark and spread manure on him at frequent intervals ... There is no substitute for genuine lack of preparation (Sobel's Truism) ...Every good question breeds good and bad questions, and usually the attorney who asks the bad questions can't be stopped by good answers . . . When the law is against you, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When both are against you, call the other lawyer names.(4)

Expert Witness
To every Ph.D., there is an equal and opposite Ph.D. (Duggan's Law) ... An expert doesn't know anymore than you do. He is merely better organized and has slides (Van Oech's Observation) ... Circumstances can force a generalized incompetent to become competent, at least in a specialized field (Freeman's Rule) ... Most economists think God is working great multiple regressions in the sky.(5)

Judging
The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant (Justice Smyth's Summation) ... When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision (Lord Falkland's Rule) ... Never underestimate the power of a platitude ... The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights (Getty's Reminder) . . . Justice always prevails, three times out of seven (Alley's Axiom).(6)

Don't Miss This One
Never eat in a restaurant named "Mom's." Never play poker with a man named "Doc." And never love a woman who's got more troubles than you. (Algren's Precept)

And, A Caveat
These New Fundamental Truths should calm your chaotic, but otherwise humdrum lives. And, they may salvage civilization (as we know it). However, you should never confuse them with Irish Bulls, with Instant Cliches, or with New Wives Tales.(7) But that, of course, is another et cetera.

 


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